More in opinion


Tuesday, 17 April 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Points to ponder for a less stressful life

GOSSIP, sarcasm, slander and unhealthy talk can ruin lives, destroy relationships, tarnish reputations, split families and alienate loved ones.

On the other hand, positive speech leads to peaceful lives, healthier relationships and overall prosperity.

To be able to use words to soothe instead of sting, heal instead of hurt and build instead of destroy, we have to be careful with the words we choose.

We need to make a conscientious effort to guard our mouth from spewing hurtful words especially in a multiracial, multicultural and multireligious country like Malaysia where maintaining race relations is not an easy job. It is a very delicate process of mediation and negotiation.

We have to be careful with the words we speak because once uttered, they cannot be taken back. No amount of effort, no matter how heartfelt or sincere, can ever restore the goodwill broken by careless or hurtful words.

The consequences of anger can be more grievous than the causes of it so choose your words wisely, especially in the presence of those you love.

The tongue is so small yet so lethal. It is restless and full of deadly poison if used mindlessly.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, which is like the rudder of a gigantic ship that determines where it goes.

Besides minding our words, we also need to take heed of the things we listen to. We must refrain from listening to gossip, slander and other negative speech.

If you are with someone who is gossiping about another person, verify the facts with these three questions: is it true, is it beneficial and is it worth hearing? If the answer is no, then leave politely.

It also pays to be humble and avoid being arrogant. This will be the greatest weapon against destructive speech.

Take pleasure in your accomplishments, not pride. Those who are arrogant are so full of themselves, there is no room for anyone else in their lives.

Learn from the padi plant – the stalks with fuller seeds always bow to the ground (Ikut resmi padi, makin berisi, makin tunduk).

Learn to say sorry because everyone makes mistakes. If you have spoken badly of someone, apologise.

And, finally, learn to forgive – if you have been wronged, let it go. Forgive for your own emotional and physical health, if not for the person’s.

Those who can forgive and use positive talk will live healthier, happier and less stressful lives.