The Power of Words.
Sitting replying to emails about delayed villa holidays this morning, it struck me, not for the first time, how powerful words can be and how important it is to use them wisely.
Actually, this was the second time this morning, I’d thought about this, the first being the headline in the local Cyprus newspaper, which led with , ”Cautious Optimism”. Two very welcome words when related to the current situation with Covid-19 – especially to my sleepy brain when I’d been dreaming about my Mum stuck alone at home in the UK!
I really enjoy my work and am lucky that , in the main, the emails that I exchange with holiday property owners and holiday guests, are normally filled with positive and happy words. Even when dealing with problems – and we all have them – the missives are filled with sensible words and not the sort of harsh expletives that some feel inclined to use.
Being so very blessed to have worked within the commercial radio industry for almost three decades, I was influenced and inspired by incredible people whose words where their trade – mainly not just WHAT they said but HOW they said it! They taught me that it wasn’t about the words sometimes, it was also about how they were used…..
In the press today, particularly in the UK newspapers which I read before getting up in the mornings, I’ve become disappointed by the harshness of delivery of some headlines and the scaremongering which is happening. Please don’t get me wrong: this whole situation is HUGE and very scary but, there are many sensitive people who read the press, whose mental health and anxieties may simply take in the ”headline” and not be able to then think through and process the meaning behind the tool the headline is used for. So maybe it’s time for a less harsh delivery?
The press in Cyprus is very much more factual, straightforward and less dramatic than in the UK. They are ”grown up”, providing information and not influencing the reader to think as the writer does. They say it as it is without colouring in for dramatic effect. Reality is too real at the moment!
How wonderful to start to see some positive press: people pulling together/ supporting those in the frontline and reaching out to neighbours and strangers. We need more of that. More of , ”how are you”, ”don’t worry, we’re all in this together”. Better use of words and more regular use of the kinder ones. If Big Brother is watching us, maybe he should make us sing, “”Happy””, at least once per day! There is no shame in finding happiness and contentment in moments, even when worries abound. Guilt shouldn’t have a place right now: faith is everything, especially having faith in the strong around us as long as we still do our tiny bit to help, by staying home.
I once wrote to an airline, whose safety briefing was so very scarily delivered, that I was seriously thinking about moving to another airline because I believed that this company MUST believe they were going to crash. By adding the words, ”in the unlikely event of”….a crash, their whole delivery softened and comforted passengers. No, I don’t think it was my letter that changed their statement but I obviously wasn’t alone in believing the message needed to be ”toned down” a little!
So with cautious optimism, on what is a beautiful day and the only 14th April, 2020 that we’ll all ever be gifted to enjoy, I’m saying Thank You to all of those working hard to help make this situation pass and be bearable whilst it’s happening – and be calm, kind to yourselves and patient, if you are one of those, like me, believing things WILL get better.