Therapeutic effect of soothing words

Ambika Ananth

Sant Tukaram said -
“Words are the only jewel I possess,
Words are the only clothes I wear.
Words are the only food that sustain my life,
Words are the only wealth I distribute among people.

People when they speak from their hearts, become ‘healers’. It is said, that words have a therapeutic quality when uttered with feeling and empathy, restoring individuals and society to good health – the restorative quality can be felt by those who are receptive to it.

Soothing words can nurse the sufferer to emotional health by bringing a sunny smile on the lips or by brining shining tears in the eyes – smiles and tears are medicinal they say.

One great Telugu poet, who was very progressive in his thought, penned a song with positive message to man. It goes like this (in translation) - “That which is not a dream, that which is very precious is life, don’t allow it to get inundated in tears” and it goes on to say how one should not allow a withering plant to just die, but should water it and nurture it”. Oh what a timeless message..
the poet himself would not possibly have imagined the power of the words of his song, that his song one day would stop a man from committing suicide, by restoring his hope and faith in life. A dejected man who was about to jump to his death, by chance heard this song being played loudly – the words went straight to his heart and he gave up his idea to take his life, but  became determined to restore it and nurture it. See the way a beautifully worded song had infused life into a dejected man!

But harsh words can be very poisonous and act weapons like. Usually, the source for harsh words is uncompromising hatred in one’s heart and the ill-effects of such a hatred is well-illustrated in this story. There was a little boy who used to use harsh words in his bad temper very often. One day, his father gave him a bag of nails and asked him to drive one into a fence every time this happened.

On the first day, the boy drove in thirty-seven of them. Then the number began to dwindle because he found it was easier to hold his temper in,  than drive in nails. Then one day he found he did not have to drive in even a single nail. Proudly, he went to his father. His father suggested that he take out one nail for each day that he did not lose his temper.

The day came when all the nails were gone and again the boy went to his father. The father said, ‘You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same again. When you hate and say things in anger, they leave scars just like this. No matter how many times you say that you are sorry, the wound is still there.’

Hence, one must take care not to be harsh and curt in speech – the damage done to relationships cannot be undone without leaving lasting marks.

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