mr. myagi of karate kid fame is the great sensei with respect to the art of focus.
the art of focus goes beyond martial arts moves. the art of the focus deals with mental martial arts moves as well.
focus is important with respect to our language. we all have thought and take these thoughts and reduce them to words. these words being either by speech or by writing.
some of our private thoughts are not meant or designed for public consumption. the challenge with respect to our thoughts is to limit our expressions to make sure that the ones not meant for public consumption are not unleashed onto the world. thus, we all may have a filter that allows us the ability to limit our communications to the outside world. in order to make this work, we must “focus” on our filter.
the ten commandments makes a distinction between words and thoughts. there are two commandments of import. “you shall not take the name of the lord, your god, in vain, for the lord will not hold blameless anyone who takes his name in vain” and “you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” exodus 20: 7 and 13. both these commandments focus on the spoken and the written word as opposed to mere thought. with respect to the commandment prohibiting coveting, an argument can be made that this is a commandment geared toward the emotion of jealousy rather than thought.
back to modern times.
let’s face it. why do pencils have erasers? why is there liquid paper or correction tape? why is there a delete key on a computer? simply put, our writing instruments have been designed to allow for a filter. in generating written communications, we have the opportunity to filter our writings before they become available for public consumption. thus, humanity clearly understands that not every writing produced is perfect or meant for public consumption.
the spoken word is more complex. it can be dynamic and spontaneous. there is not opportunity to reflect about our speech as we have when we have time to place the letter in the envelope or push the send button on an email or text message.
therefore, especially with respect to speech, it is important to focus on our filter.
how do we do it? we must know our surroundings. we must know and understand the people we are within. further, if we don’t know and understand the people we are with, we must take that into consideration and limit communication. in sum, know your audience.
how should we speak? in the unknown, if you focus and add a moral component, your filter will operate a high efficiency. you will speak in a less profane matter, you will be cautious not assert things that may not be true. this type of focus on the filter will reduce unnecessary offensive and hurtful language.
the internet provides the best example of undisciplined focus. many individuals who write in comment sections show that they have spent little or no time in the mental dojo. their comments are hateful, racist, crude, profane etc. while many of these individuals make these comments anonymously, they reflect poorly on the overall state of humanity itself. the fact that there are people who thinks this way and are willing to place it on public display is worrisome.
what is the lesson? you must “focus” on your filter! you must spend the time and reflect to filter your thoughts as you reduce them to words. as a result, your best and most meaningful words will be released upon the world. when you do this, you avoid embarrassment and regret.