I was reading a great article written by Sally Kempton the other day about the power of words in an article called Me Talk Pretty:
Words and the energy they carry make or break friendships and careers; they define us as individuals and even as cultures. The unnecessary speaking that takes place and how it wastes energy, energy that could otherwise be devoted to prayer, self-inquiry or transformative action. More important, is the power that words have to change the communal atmosphere, to cause joy or pain, and to create a climate that fosters truth or falsity, kindness or cruelty. So much of the pain we cause ourselves and each other could be avoided if we were just a bit more discriminating about what we say. WORDS create reality. Before speaking, ask yourself the following three questions:
IS THIS TRUE?
IS IT KIND?
IS IT NECESSARY?
These questions are the three gates of speech. Remembering to ask them will at least give you pause, and that pause can be enough to hold back torrents of trouble.
Speak from a place of awareness. Whenever you start to complain, take a moment to be quiet and still, and pay attention to your heart. Then, wait and see what words come from that silent place. Most always it will be something unexpected and wise.
Use speech that can change and inspire the world, that resonates at the highest level of contact with your silent place behind words, the place we reach when we're able to pause, turn into the heart and let the stillness speak through our words. Speech that comes out of stillness is speech that comes, literally, from the source of wisdom itself.