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Words Matter

April 14, 2018

As an awkward and nerdy middle schooler I thoroughly enjoyed learning about ancient Greece.  The architecture, the culture and mythology all fascinated me and I hope to visit Greece someday.  One of the first myths you study in school is that of Prometheus and Pandora.  One of the characters that isn't as well-known in that story is Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus.  According to myth, Epimetheus and Prometheus were titans, and were charged with allocating traits and characteristics to newly created animals during the dawn of time. Epimetheus, whose name when translated from the Greek literally means "afterthought," gave away all the good traits to other animals, leaving none for humans.  Prometheus, whose name means "forethought" therefore gave humans fire and the fine arts, separating them from the rest of the animals.  Epimetheus is representative of how many of us conduct conversation: lacking forethought.  We all are guilty, at times, of speaking before we think.  I've learned in my training, teaching and practicing etiquette that words can't technically dole physical pain. But words can create wounds that are much harder to heal.  One of the best ways to become an artist of conversation is to think about what you say before you say it.  It keeps one from becoming someone who interrupts or inflicts wounds on others.  Don't lack forethought like Epimetheus.  We must think before we speak.


-Illustration credited to Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire from D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths, copyright 1992 



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