Nowadays more attention is paid to making people better speakers and writers. Everybody wants to be listened and read. This is a very good thing but there is a question in minds. Are we doing it correctly or are we missing something in the way of being good speakers and writers?
This is a very basic question that I ask myself almost every single day. Are we doing it correctly, are we missing something? Well, I think we are…
Three of the very important principles of being a good writer are to “read, read and read” and again three of the very crucial principles of being a good speaker are to “listen, listen and listen again.”
The first command of the Holy Qur’an is also “Read!”
Allah (swt) in many ayahs says: “Don’t they ever think! Will they ever not meditate on Qur’an!”
“For young people of our generation information or knowledge is not hidden among the ‘dusty pages of some old book.’ ”said a very young man to his mother pulling her leg upon her saying “how are you with the books?” This, I guess, summarizes to you how desperate some of our youth nowadays and how they regard “reading a book.” According to another 20-year-old University student “Reading a book is just medieval. I cannot stand turning pages on and on instead of going through some profiles in facebook or my tweets.” Of course not all the youth are at the same opinion, let’s say 80% disagrees with this idea and say “one can attain success only by reading.” but still do they read enough to support their theory? I wish they could!
I don’t want to give you all the statistics about reading because they are desperate but what I want to tell is easier to do “why don’t we start reading and listening each other from now on.” It is really easy and doing it is not a dream far away. There are even many websites to help you increase your daily readings; I don’t mean the “social friendship” websites of course.
A columnist and a businessman Harvey McKay says in one of his books:
- If you read one book per month for 12 straight months, you will be in the top 25 percentile of the world’s intellectuals!
- If you read five books on one subject, you are one of the world’s leading authorities on that subject!
- If you read 15 minutes a day, every day, for one year, you can complete 20 books!
We mostly like to talk and preach no matter how young we are and we rarely enjoy the delicate pleasures of listening and getting advice since we like to talk all the time. Not all of us. But yes, let’s be a bit critical on ourselves since this is for our own good.
In order to give the most appealing speeches one must be a very good listener and designator of the problems of the audience. This is attained only by listening, reading and researching. There is an English saying: “Think twice before you speak once.” And yet another one: “Hear twice before you speak once.” Without listening one cannot achieve success required but keeps on breaking hearts and making assumptions on others. All the scientists and inventors that we inherited many successful inventions by the inspiration of Allah has listened and taken into consideration even the seemingly-freakiest ideas and that’s how we have the modern devices and brilliant computers and smart phones.
And those who like talking all the time, speaking a lot has only one advantage which gives away all of you and who you are in the easiest way, even without someone asking you! So you may not be aware but actually you are pushing people away from you by speaking all the time but not listening. A very innocent way of knowing people is to “let them speak.” Because the more you speak the more you will have hard times hiding your “self” but reveal your true identity. After speaking with restrained for a while, you will embrace your natural self again by the provoking mechanism that feeds your ‘self’ inside. Then the selective discretion decreases increasingly. The more you speak, the more you drift apart from the reason, wisdom and true judgment and helping people to know you more by speaking ill and leaving dignity. Language shows the hidden self of the speaker, so language is the measure of the speaker or the writer and the quality of the language passes from reading and listening others at the same time.
Like Socrates said: “Speak! That I May See Thee.”
Ben Johnson, the contemporary of Shakespeare and author of “The Alchemist” also used the same saying in one of his books “Timber, or Discoveries…” :
“Language most shows a man: Speak, that I may see thee. It springs out of the most retired and in
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most parts of us, and is the image of the parent of it, the mind. No glass renders a man’s form or likeness so true as his speech. Nay, it is likened to a man; and as we consider feature and composition in a man, so words in language; in the greatness, aptness, sound structure, and harmony of it.”