Thursday, June 6, 2013

Deaf or Death? Exactly!

When my brother was little and learning to talk, he, like most toddlers, mispronounced a few words; once at dinner, he asked my mom, “Can I celebrate my onions?” Knowing he disliked them, my mom asked him to repeat his request.  “Can I celebrate my onions?”  My mom turned to me, (she reports I was often the interpreter for my brother) and I said nonchalantly, “He wants to know if he can separate  the onions from the rest of his food.” Cute, right?

At the time, my parents were also leading the youth group at our church.  My brother would call them the “newth” group.  I don’t know if he just couldn’t pronounce “youth” or he just reasoned that they were young and new to the world, so it made sense to him to call them “newth” (I know I’d like to be called little more “newth-ful” these days!).

When we would visit my grandparents, he would instruct people who were talking to my grandfather to talk in a louder voice because our grandpa was “death”.  He would say this while pointing a chubby finger towards his own ears. Thinking that people were laughing at my brother, and not at the cuteness of his foible, I pulled him aside and said, “Look at my mouth, it’s ‘deaf-f-f-f’ not ‘death-th-th’!”

However, now that I’m older, I’m beginning to think perhaps I was wrong and my brother was right.  Isn’t being deaf a type of death; a death of hearing?  In fact, aren’t all ailments a type of death?

I have included a link that simply explains how stress impacts the effectiveness of the immune system:

Isn’t the compromised state of our immune system a type of death; the death of an effective immune system?  If so, then it would follow that the diminishing of stress would be life giving, or at least life extending, right? What if one way we could reduce stress is by using our words and changing our minds about negative conditions?  If stress can cause “death”, can’t a positive mindset reverse that effect?  I’m pretty sure there are many studies that can prove that, but I’m not trying to do a research paper here, what I’m trying to say is that we can use our creative words to reverse the effects of negativity or death.  If you believe that death is in the tongue, meaning that negative, stressful words can cause a type of death, than the reverse has to be true, that positive, encouraging words can cause life.

In any case, I hope this particular blog has given food for thought.  I guess if you’ve read any of the previous blogs, you know I believe in the effects of encouraging words.  I love it when I get your encouraging comments and I hope that’s what I continue to put out “there” for everyone else.  Feel free to tell me what you think.

-Tessa L. Charles


  1. The proof is in the pudding. Look at all the people that you know that grew up in households where they value criticism but not encouragement. Did they turn out to be people ready to conquer world and go after their dreams? Nope ... they are broken and beaten, cynical and negative. Imagine if was reversed.

  2. True. Speaking for myself, I know that when I get a negative word, I'm deflated, even though I'm learning to know the truth about myself and learning not to take what someone else says personally whether they meant to say it that way or not (I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, anyway). Conversely, when I get a positive word, I feel encouraged.

    People that use criticism as a way to discipline or guide are in for a world of hurt feelings and disappointment and resentment. It's just a self-fulfilling pit of muck and mire!