Want to Grow? Change the words you use…

Take more responsibility, be more responsible, how to use language which helps you take responsibility, even makes you take responsibility rather than give it away at every turn?

Hindi is my mother tongue, but there was something my Father used to say which struck me in a flash of insight years later!  Our language itself points us to give away responsibility and to not take it.  If what we say is also what we hear, every time we use such phrases or statements, we are telling ourselves that we weren’t responsible.

For example, take what happens when we misplace something.  In Hindi we say “cheez kho gayi, mil nahi rahi hai”.  Now note very carefully what we have done by framing our words like this.  The fact that the thing (‘cheez’) has been misplaced is expressed as if the fault was its own that it is not being found (‘mil nahi rahi hai’).

This needs more thought from us to figure out why we as a people of one language, or some other people, of another language, speak and behave differently.  One more responsible than another.  And I go back to one of my earliest writings Career Self-Reliance, where I had realized that growth happens when we take more responsibility, not when more responsibility is given to us.