“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. Not only do words infect, egotize, narcotize, and paralyze, but they enter into and color the minutest cells of the brain . . .” This is Rudyard Kipling's most famous quotation, and it is from a speech he made to the Royal College of Surgeons in London in 1923.
Rudyard Kipling's most famous quotations, and it is from a speech he made to the Royal College of Surgeons in London in 1923. Kipling was talking about our ability to use our words to change the way another person thinks and feels, to influence that person to do or feel things — similar to the way drugs would do.
What you say, has an impact. For example, if you say to someone, “You know, you don’t look good, do you feel okay?” They may say I feel great, but then they start to think “maybe I don’t feel so good.” It’s the words we say that can influence others beliefs. This example shows how a person initially believed that they felt fine, until doubt was created. Once doubt seeped in, now this person begins to look for and notice instances that support the belief that they might not feel so good after all. This is the Power of Suggestion.
You have people on TV shows that can make people do whatever they want with suggestions, like the Mentalist, Mind Games and others. The ancients and the indigenous people have a saying that words are magic. Anything you say, is like you are casting a spell on somebody. This is real phenomenon. What you say, how you say it, tonal, expressions, can latterly “program” the other person.
Think of it as we all have computers, we have a keyboard. The keyboard is left around. Anyone can come and play with your keyboard and program you. Most of us never take it back, and we’ve always been programmed by others without knowing it. We live in a very self-centered culture. You may have said, “It’s my decision, I made it, I am in control”, but really you’re not. People like friends, family, co-workers and advertisers all around you make suggestions that your mind accepts and turns into a belief.
Another example, is a little girl, 6 years old singing her heart out. Then the single mother, who is tired after working all day, comes home and hears daughter. Without thinking, she says “Stop singing like a donkey.” That child goes to her room and may never sing again. She may not remember that specific instance, but those words have altered her life forever. That’s the power of the word.
In addition to influencing others, our words influence our own beliefs and behaviors. We are constantly “program” our self though our thoughts. Whether it’s negative self-talk or positive self-talk. It doesn’t matter to our minds. The mind only knows that with repetition, a habit is formed. Pay attention to your thoughts for just one day and notice what you have been suggesting to yourself.
You have a powerful weapon that can be used to hurt or destroy or it can be used to empower, uplift and heal. With this power comes responsibility. Be kind.
Hormones and Relationships Lambert Titus Parker, MD June 2014