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Your Life: Choose your words wisely

Charlotte Lankard: The words we use can have more effect than we realize. Choose yours wisely.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD Published: October 22, 2012

Many people are too interested in hearing themselves talk. All of us are guilty of that at times. The problem with that is when we are busy talking we're not listening, and listening is the most important part of a conversation and a basic component of a healthy relationship.

Unfortunately when we do talk, we often are careless with the words we use. That's how people get hurt and misunderstand one another.

Words are important and I grow more appreciative of people who choose their words carefully.

I was reminded of this last week by three unrelated incidents.

Sarah Kay, 23, a spoken-word-poet who has become a role model for teenage girls around the world, remembered elementary school. She brought her lunch to school every day and every day her mother or father would write a poem on a little piece of paper and fold it up and put it in her lunchbox. Every day at lunch she would have a new poem waiting for her. It was a surprise to anticipate, a gift she could unwrap.

She said the poems were very short and often silly but it gave her a connection to poetry at a very early age and really affected the way she feels about poetry today.

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