Not Just Words: The Power of Positive Speech
By Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
You always emphasize the importance of positive speech. But it is not always possible. In times of crisis we need to be brutally honest without hiding behind false perceptions. You cannot describe an ill person as a picture of health and you can't call a deficit a surplus. How can we speak positively and be realistic at the same time?
Speech is a powerful tool which has two functions. The first is to describe and communicate, solving issues, sharing feelings and explaining concepts. But speech is also a tool of creation. G-d created the world with words. This creative power was then invested in human beings. Our words actually create new realities.
When we discuss a situation constructively to respond and plan appropriately, we are using speech as a tool of description and communication. But when words are spoken with no constructive benefit they produce their own energy and create a new reality.
Diagnosing an illness is being responsible. Describing that disease to family members and friends to encourage the appropriate strategy is positive. But constant emphasis on the gravity of the illness or negative predictions about how short the patient has to live is dangerous. This type of speech generates negativity and in itself creates the possibility of a negative outcome. Reviewing our financial situation to plan for a tough period is beneficial. Constant gloom and doom talk about how bad it is and will be is negative.
But the creative power of speech also becomes the solution when we use it positively. Positive talk and messages of hope are not just psychologically calming. They too create a positive energy that attracts blessing and desired outcomes. In times of crisis it is both important to be realistic but at the same time to constantly express hope, faith and belief in a positive result.
We should be realistic and positive about the present and only be positive and hopeful about the future.