Our Lives Depend On Our Words And Their Meaning - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Our Lives Depend On Our Words And Their Meaning

January 18th, 2019 SanTan Sun News
Our Lives Depend On Our Words And Their Meaning

By Rabbi Irwin Wiener

Guest Columnist

How many times have we listened to someone but really never heard what was said? Words are so important in everything we do. Relationships depend on words.

And all too often we say things we do not mean or say things that are mean.

Sometimes we do not realize that what we say can be hurtful. Sometimes we do not hear what we say.

Creation occurred because “God said.” We too have the power to create with words: a great society, a great life, a great understanding of our purpose. Our feelings are communicated with words.

But words are not enough. They must be accompanied with deeds. Empty words are as meaningless as listening but not hearing. And even when we pray, repeating words that have been recited from time immemorial, do we truly understand their meaning – how many of us really hear what we are saying?

The words are, at times, haunting and filled with emotions, personal sufferings, and supplications designed to help us. Not in a mystical sense but in a way that will comfort and sustain us. But they are just words.

To truly have meaning – to truly bring satisfaction, they must be accompanied by deeds – acts that indicate the importance of what is being said. Our words and deeds are significant because, in truth, our lives depend upon them.

Perhaps some are at various stages in our life when saying something, hearing what we say, and meaning it should be calming. Perhaps what we say should continue have an impact in the days and years ahead.

Our words should contain remembrances because life is a gift. Yesterday is a memory. Tomorrow is a dream. Today, however, is called the present. Today is called the present because it is a “present” to be able to be here today. And, if tomorrow is not to be, well, at least we had today.

Sometimes we get bogged down with yesterday and concentrate on what was. We obsess over missed opportunities and become ill because we can’t put them behind us. Remembering is part of our journey of life.

But, learning from the past – well, that is an art. And moving on takes courage because we tend to fear today as well as tomorrow. The unknown, at this time in our lives, can be frightening. There are more years behind than in front. That is scary.

Each happening in our journey is cause for celebration. And we can do things to make our appreciation meaningful. Don’t just say, “ I love you” – mean it and do something to show it.

Words are not enough. They must be accompanied with acts that confirm and validate.

How many times have we wished that we could do things all over again – a new start – learning from yesterday so that tomorrow would be better? How many times have we said – “if only?”

But hear what we are wishing for. Even if we could turn back the clock – would things be different? We talk about the “good old days” – but they are the “good old days” because they are gone – not because we want them back. And while we were living those “good old days,” they didn’t seem so good at the time.

So, I urge you to hear this: Life is a gift. Our intimacies should be deeper. Our feelings need to be more sincere. Our satisfaction can be more complete.

The “present” is a blessing – tomorrow will come. We will have good times as well as bad. But we should understand them better now.

When you recite the prayers or sing the hymns – do not only listen to what you are saying, but hear what you are saying. These prayers are filled with remembrances and contemplations. When you talk to each other, hear whether your words are calming.

When you communicate with God, will the words reach a level of acceptance so that we will find ourselves in tune with our creator?

Listen to the words spoken by a friend, a loved one. But more importantly, hear what is said. Our lives truly depend on these words and their meaning.

Rabbi Irwin Weiner is the spiritual leader of the Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation.