‘The smallest of things build into a bigger thing. The smallest of things also support the bigger thing once it is built.’
There are two phrases that are part of our culture, welded into the collective consciousness and give me great, edgy pause when I hear them. I have to always, always take a moment, breath and go to that place of expansive neutrality when either one of them comes my way.
Keep it simple, stupid.
Why, oh why, must the word stupid be used here? Why would anyone want to make someone feel inferior by suggesting they are stupid for doing something a particular way? After the stupid bomb is thrown, any suggestions or words period coming from that person are DOA.
Why is it necessary to view positive input as ‘criticism’? And, again, this also implies that something is very, very wrong with the status quo of a project or other action.
Those two phrases have never felt good. Feeling is Queen. Queen guides, exposes and then disposes. She is now guiding us in a new direction if we just listen. If we just listen, we can feel that this language is truly rotting and dying.
Dead Language = Dead Society
Why can’t we encourage people by using more supportive language? Are we so deep into the negative-speak culture and denigration of other’s actions that we are unable to seek better options? Are we that far gone?
Could we try something different? Could we cultivate a courteous civilization?
To transmute a Negative-Speak Society into a more considerate co-operative, it would be helpful to fervently address the ‘smallest of things’ as in the opening quote of this piece.
When we address and change the small things (individual words) that support the big thing (Negative-Speak Society), the big thing slowly erodes and collapses.
The care and feeding of those entrenched collective thought forms will remain active until we put effort into changing them via effort in choosing different words and gentler approaches. We can do it with forethought.
4 Steps To Cultivating Gentleness
How about we focus on being helpful and upbeat simultaneously?
1. Focus on the good.
Highlight first what is good about another’s specific actions — the project at hand. When we torpedo someone with negativity right out of the gate, the gate generally closes whether we are aware of it or not.
2. Be kind.
Be generous and kind in a general way in recognizing that everyone does the best they can in any given moment. Tell them how talented they are for everyone is talented in a unique way.
3. Speak for yourself.
Approach with courteous words concerning your perspective. If you see where something could be bettered in accordance with your perspective, start any overture with:
“I see you have this under control. From my perspective I may do something different…”
Of course if something else works better for you, then use it. If you care to share your version in the comments section that would be great too. We could all learn from it.
4. Show respect.
Respect the Creator Spark within them! It is the same spark you have in you. No one is any better than or less than another. This is very important. On your approach, take this view in wholly, let it perk and then take her in for a smooth landing.
Now let’s look at the 2 key phrases again. Marry the respectful and kind communication style established above AND a new positive word in each:
Keep it simple, sweetie.
Doesn’t sweetie sound so much better than stupid? Now if Sweetie isn’t your cup of tea either, use something different.
Although Sweetie works for me now, I would like input on a different word. Share your ideas here. Actually the phrase Keep It Simple is enough and gets the point across.
COMMENTS… ahhh… feels exponentially cleaner and smoother than its predecessor criticism… feels more respectful and flowing as it allows and provides space for spontaneity and clarity to flourish.
These two examples are only a drop in the bucket of other trite-isms that could use an overhaul.
It would be great to hear from you in the comment section about any common phrases that tweak you and how you would change them.
And now a little ditty to wrap things up:
‘One itsy bitsy word
Can turn into a turd
So be careful what you utter
Do not make another shutter
Apply a different spin
Design a big win-win’
~ Lia Love
CREATE DYNAMIC AND PANDEMIC CIVILITY NOW
by changing the world one word at a time.
Feel-good fuzzies to all of you!