I constantly chastise my baby sharks to listen more than they speak. They are quite the wajuaji. A lot of their tabias are passed on from their father so guilty as charged.  My big sis often reminds me that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Sometimes it feels like my apples are literally growing on the tree that is their dad. They haven’t even fallen yet. That’s how close my mannerisms resemble those of my totos. Clearly, they carry more than just my name and long legs.

I often have to remind myself of who I was at their age, especially in my academics. So when my kijana prays for maandamano to resume so that they can skip school, the ten-year-old version of me feels him completely. But wearing the parent and sponsor hat now, I want him in school working very hard so that my investment is not in vain. Kweli this parenting debt is paid forward.

Children can really humble us. The same way we took our parents through serious character development back in the day. We would run away from our mothers to avoid being spanked. Now we joke that we used to run with our mums. A lot of the punishment for me was due to my mouth running ahead of my mind. Speaking without first thinking. I’d be reminded that we were given two ears and one mouth to listen twice as much as we spoke.

It helps when we parent our kids in an environment where they can speak their minds and have the confidence to air their opinions and thoughts. But could there be a downside to that? Are we over-speaking to the point that we can’t hear others or ourselves? I think the verdict is unanimous that the world would do well with less talk. We should seek first to understand than to be understood.

We have a lot of doublespeak in our lives today. It’s not just the preserve of politicians who change color more often than the chameleon. We are also guilty of it in our own spaces. Doublespeak is described as being ambiguous or using obscure language. I’m still working on being slow to speak and quick to listen and understand. It’s a skill a good coach has. And I want to be the best coach I can be.

Last Sunday the sermon in church was about watching our mouth. The tongue is a small part of the body yet no one has been able to tame it. With it we curse and with the same tongue, we bless. And that’s a double-speak that often leads to great damage. Of course, we have all said stuff we wish we hadn’t. And once we realize we suffered from foot-in-mouth (saying something we later regret) we should be quick to apologize and remedy the situation in word and deed.

That sermon made me remember the times I lost my edge by saying more than I should have. Folks, there are times our breakthrough is dependent on our silence. Myles Munroe said, ”The victory is in the mouth not the eyes”. We cancel a lot of our growth by what we speak. It has been like learning a new language for me when I feel stuck but I’m speaking movement and progress. At first, it feels like I’m faking it but with time I have owned the words I’m uttering and sometimes the spoken word has manifested in life.

My brother is big on this. He reminds us often to watch what we say because there is power in the spoken word. Folks, maybe it’s time we treated our words like our cash and use them sparingly and with caution to avoid wastage. That way we end up actualizing more of our goals and that is what leads to a meaningful and fulfilling life.

This story reminds me of a notice my dad had in his office many years ago. It read, “The more we talk the more we are likely to sin.” While it Is true that victory is in our mouths, failure is also in our mouths if we use our mdomo poorly. May the Good Lord give us the wisdom to know the difference.


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2 thoughts on “Double Speak.”

  1. david says:

    Amen to that Lucas.

  2. Miriam says:

    “The victory is in the mouth not the eyes”
    it’s time we treated our words like our cash and use them sparingly and with caution to avoid wastage. ”
    Profound!…Deep! Ooohh how we need to master our mouths. 😉

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