You can change your world by changing your words. Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue. - Joel Osteen
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. - Philip K. Dick
The #1206 “fiction” series continues ….
“I appreciate you stopping by today”, Jim said to his meeting companion as they stood to shake hands.
“No problem at all”, replied his companion, “Please send my best to your family.” They shook hands and his companion departed.
Jim sat down again and began to put his papers away. He cursed his cellphone when he noticed that its battery had run down again. It never seemed to hold more than about 4 hours of charge. He was just promising himself to look into it when a slight, non-descript man with a penetrating gaze stood before him. “Excuse me”, the non-descript man said, “May I sit down?”
Jim looked at him uncertainly for a moment and then with a shrug, mumbled “Suit yourself”.
“Thank you”, the man said, sitting down. Without hesitation, he looked Jim squarely in the eye and said bluntly, “I understand that you own your wife. You must be quite pleased to have such a possession.”
Startled by such a blunt statement, Jim looked at the man and said “Excuse me?”
The man smiled before speaking. “I overheard you tell your companion that you have a wife. You must be quite proud.”
“Now look”, Jim said sharply, “I have no idea what you are getting at but …..”
The man held up a hand and interrupted him.
“You have a coffee. You have a laptop. You have a car. Does this not suggest that having something means owning it or directing it without fear of a negative response from that which is owned?”
“Well of course”, agreed Jim, “But having a wife is different.”
“Possibly”, replied the man, “But think of this. The primary definition of have is to hold or maintain possession, privilege or entitlement of something or to hold something in one’s use, service, regard or at one’s disposal. While a secondary definition of have means to stand in a relationship with someone, the primary use of have that I explained is the one most common and the one our brain resonates with the most.”
“Um, ok”, said Jim uncertainly. “What are you getting at?”
“Did you ever wonder that every time you make a reference to having your wife, that in fact you may be inadvertently programming your mind to believe that you in fact own her instead of being in a partnership with her. Over the years, such programming may actually cause you to believe this on a subconscious level and you inadvertently begin treating her as property instead of someone you have partnered with.”
Jim remained silent as the man continued.
“Over time, your wife begins to feel your accidental assertion over her and she begins to resist your subconsciously driven efforts. In some cases, because she has you as her husband, she may inadvertently begin to attempt to assert control over her property as well and pretty soon you are both lost in resisting each other and your marriage begins to flounder. The insidious thing is that this accidental, subconscious assertion of dominance over the other is so subtle and takes place over so many years that neither of you see the real reason for the change in each other’s behavior. All you realize is that this is no longer the person who you loved years ago and for some reason, each of you no longer puts the other person first the way you used to. You have asserted your ownership for so many years in a subconscious way that you believe the lie you have repeatedly told yourself.”
“That’s preposterous”, expostulated Jim.
“Really?”, asked the man. “Think of this. Instead of saying I have a wife, imagine if you overheard your wife saying my husband has me which in essence is the same thing from a reverse context. Wouldn’t that sound strange to you? It would almost sound as if you are a jealous, possessive person which I suspect you are not.”
“Of course it would”, said Jim as he frowned.
“Then you understand the power of words”, said the man as he smiled at Jim. “Think about them carefully!”
He looked down at Jim’s cellphone. “Pesky devices”, he said, “they never stay charged when you need them.” He reached over, pick up Jim’s cellphone, held it for a moment and then passed it to Jim.
“Remember”, the man said, “words matter. Pay more attention to them before you use them.” He smiled again, stood up, reached over and gently touched Jim on the shoulder and walked out the door without another word.
Jim sat for a moment and then jumped up to ask the man who he was. Running into the street, he saw that the man was nowhere to be found.
As he returned to the table in the coffee shop, he was shaking his head. “Silly old man”, he thought, “What does he know?”
Picking up his cellphone, he frowned. He could have sworn the battery was almost exhausted and yet the battery meter read 100%. He shrugged, packed his stuff away, grabbed his coat and walked out the door.
A week later, Jim found himself sitting at the same table and memories of the old man came to mind. He had given a lot of thought to what the man had said on this very spot a week ago and wasn’t sure if he should give it credence or not.
But that wasn’t what dogged him the most.
His cellphone, which never gave him more than 4 hours of use before needing to be recharged, was still at 100%, having been that way since the old man had picked up his phone and handed it to him. After using the phone heavily for the last 7 days, it simply did not need to be charged at all.
As he stared at the phone, an odd thought crossed his mind.
“Nahhhhh, couldn’t be”, he smiled to himself.
Suddenly he stopped smiling and something dawned on him.
He pressed the speed dial button for his wife.
To be continued.
© 2014 – Harry Tucker – All Rights Reserved
How aware are you of the power behind your words in the potential for creating good or evil?
This series, a departure from my usual musings, is inspired as a result of conversations with former senior advisors to multiple Presidents of the United States, senior officers in the US Military and other interesting folks as well as my own professional background as a Wall St. / Fortune 25 strategy and large-scale technology architect.
While this musing is just “fiction” and a departure from my musings on technology, strategy, politics and society, as a strategy guy, I do everything for a reason and with a measurable outcome in mind. :-)
This “fictional” musing is a continuation of the #1206 series noted here.