The impact of words | Pakistan Today

The impact of words

  • Beyond meaning and time

Often without realising the power words hold and their impact go far beyond their meaning and time, leading to consequences that often leave a deep scar on the face of history to be read upon. Words are more like seeds that give birth to the plant of idea(s), which in time bear the fruit of action which ultimately defines the course history takes. Actions, to be looked upon from this angle are not louder than words, but are a mere representation of one’s words, perhaps. A look into world history, particularly of Pakistan (in our case), exposes one to many examples where harsh words planted the ideas of hate eventually leading to uncalled for actions. Pakistan’s disintegration, ironically, till date is perhaps the most horrific example.

It takes two hands to clap. With one missing, a clap can never be possible. Which is why, above all reasons, one of the two or many sides confronting each other must attempt to choose the words wisely in order to save oneself from, and avoid utter embarrassment at a later stage. It is critically significant to choose wise words, since words spoken today are most likely to cross one’s way tomorrow

An ironic to the core fact, however, is that man rarely learns from history, and others’ mistakes. Hence the famous saying; history repeats itself. It often does because we don’t learn from it, and is bound to as long as we abstain from learning the required lessons.

Whereas as this applies to and is prevalent in every society, and sphere of life in general, a look at it in Pakistani perspective, particularly our political playing field makes more sense than any else. That too in the wake of present day political circumstances. Listening to our political leadership from different political parties in media talks daily, we come across the fact mentioned above as we witness our political representatives come across the very words they used for, and opinions they held about each other on several occasions in the past.

While the aforementioned is a case, at present, particularly in light of the recent “Grand Opposition Alliance” forged by PPP, and the PML-N (both under fire from the accountability institution on charges of corruption against them), as both parties maligned, and blamed each other for all troubles in the past like no other has ever perhaps, there appears to be no virtue in this sin city. It appears to be full of yesterday’s opponents who were at each other’s necks ending up becoming each other’s allies today. Even the to-be-considered comparatively cleaner PTI suffers from the same problem, as it once very vocally spoke against its political allies in today’s federal, and provincial governments. So no representative of any party today sits in these talk shows with his/her head held high. Admitting their past mistakes, particularly choosing inappropriately harsh words, is the only option for them.

An ironic to the core fact, however, is that man rarely learns from history, and others’ mistakes. Hence the famous saying; history repeats itself

However, the problem does not end here. Learning from mistakes is as important as admitting the mistake is. And this is an area where all seem to have lagged severely. But as they say, “it’s better late than never”.

The encouraging part is that all stakeholders, today, seem to be unanimously in agreement to the realisation that the political leadership of the country across the board must practice caution while choosing their words, and expressing their opinion on political developments, irrespective of how grave the differences with their counterparts are. While the PML-N and PPP are now forging an alliance, and are ready to set aside their past differences by choosing a more appropriate viewpoint, their past mistakes in the form of badmouthing each other must be taken as an example by the amateur PTI leadership in order to avoid taking the very route. Of course, combined with their own extravagantly out of this world container speeches.

Leaders, whether good or bad, are called leaders because they hold the power to influence the people, and create a following for themselves. If political leadership does not practice caution in choosing wiser words to express the political opinions, and stand points, this contagious disease will certainly flow down right to the bottom of their following, making way for collision of not just their self-assumed virtuous political thought, but actually societal. Getting loud, and choosing aggressive words, which seems to have become the order of our day as a society, do not add any further weight of rational to one’s opinion. So better to avoid the course that leads to embarrassment, and apologies tomorrow.

It is high time that political leaders, irrespective of the party they represent, choose wiser words to express their opinion. Something that, rest assured, will increase their standing across the board.