Your Words

I was thumbing through some Sumerian texts over the weekend and came across the following words of wisdom from Šuppurag to his son, Ziusudra, who was listed as the last king of Sumer before the deluge:

You should not speak improperly; later it will lay a trap for you.

I hadn’t thought about it this way before, but the analogy makes sense and I’ve certainly seen this play out in my life a time or two in the past. Speaking improperly ﹣ criticizing another behind her back or anonymously, cursing, jumping to conclusions, using a sharp or critical tone unnecessarily, etc. ﹣ become traps about which you have to be concerned in the future.

Those traps, which are meant to ensnare others, can trap you too, once set! They are indiscriminate in this regard. A bear trap cares not weather it snaps shut on the leg of a wolf, sheep or bear. The traps you set with hastily prepared words or words hotly spoken can seize upon you just as easily as they might another.

Take care with your words. Speak carefully, properly, with dignity and empathy. Otherwise, you create your own minefield!


5 thoughts on “Your Words

  1. David R

    I’m sure we’ve all winced to reflect on words that produced obvious trouble, heartache or destruction, but I have to wonder how often we just don’t see the links. I think the fact is that EVERY errant word has an effect. The moral of the story is: treat every word as a deliberately sacred responsibility – it all matters!


  2. Chuck Reddick

    “Once it is said it is too late”. Once I heard that quote it changed how I spoke to others dramatically. Instead of always blurting out what was on my mind I learned to be more considerate before I would say something, especially if it was in the area of offering suggestions to others. And as a manager of other people, I have learned (the hard way) to never say anything to another while I was angry or frustrated. That does not mean that one should be afraid to say the hard things; it does mean that ones heart needs to be clear before saying those things.


  3. Coco

    I think most everyone has fallen into that trap of their own making. I believe the same could be said for the quality of our thoughts and basically what we allow to originate in our heart. We can’t get away from the fact that we are a lynchpin in the process of creating our lives. We don’t create everything; so why add to our own troubles. On the other hand words can create such beauty and harmony and carry the spirit of love. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”


  4. Steve V

    Yes so true. It is excellent to make the correction in this regard. Understanding poise and grace in respect to our words increases the stature of ourselves as well as the body of mankind. We as individuals can really make a difference in this world.


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