Language was supposed to be a tool that made humans superior over animals, gave us power to express our thoughts. But this language of ours comes with a big asterisk.
I believe that most of the issues today are because we talk too much. Reminds me of that saying “pen is mightier than sword”, words are one of the most hazardous and toxic elements in our lives. It got me thinking about how much we need to control our language because one way or the other you are doing something wrong with your words.
- Don’t stand up to your parents because you feel they are from a different generation. Parents are supposed to be smarter and you will be punished irrespective of whether you are right or wrong.
- Don’t express your desires to your husband because he will think you are too demanding. Also since when did wife get an authority to ask for anything on their own, aren’t wives supposed to be meek creatures who can talk only when asked to speak.
- Don’t state your own opinion especially if they are against the opinions of your in-laws because they don’t care and they might even take an offence (c’mon, you are a girl, you got married probably because of your pretty face and not your brains).
- Don’t shout in public because it’s rude.
- Don’t abuse people publicly because you could be beaten, jailed or even killed.
- Don’t write about bold topics or you could be put in jail like Manto.
- Don’t shout at your children because you can end up being labeled as a bad / strict / horrible parent.
- Don’t praise another girl in front of your wife because you could end up sleeping on sofa for weeks. Most important, why were you even looking at some other girl in the first place.
- Don’t talk against your boss even if he / she is wrong because you could end up getting fired.
- Don’t talk against other nations or you could start a war.
- Don’t talk against your own nation because you could be labeled as traitor.
- Don’t talk against any religious practices (even if they are horrible and mindless) because you could be made an outcast or beaten to death.
The list is endless, our entire life is a big rulebook of “how to talk appropriately” and even this definition of “appropriate” keeps changing as per the circumstances and people. It’s too much pressure on us and I envy the people in stone-age who hadn’t learned to talk and would use sign language. Less words, less interpretations and less headaches.
In today’s day and age when people are too sensitive, too sentimental, too judgmental, too irrational, silence is the best option. When one is forced to think a lot before speaking then its best to stay quite and let other person feel that either you agree with everything or you are too dumb to have your own perspective.
Honestly, I would rather be labeled as dumb than force my brains to think too much just to utter the right set of words that will not hurt the other person.
I recently read a play about limiting the usage of words in our daily conversation – Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, and it got me thinking, how great it would be if we could also limit our conversations to just the important words. There will not be any need of thinking before speaking because we can only use words to communicate something important.
Could this be our future? If yes, then I’m looking forward to such a future where I can just keep all my thoughts in my brain and talk to myself mutely rather than express my views openly and be subjected to constant judgments.