“What We Speak Becomes the House We Live In”

Years ago, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Persian poet, Hafiz, whose book, The Gift, contains the following poem:

We speak
Becomes the house we live in.

Who will want to sleep in your bed
If the roof leaks
Right above

Look what happens when the tongue
Cannot say to kindness,

“I will be your slave.”

The moon
Covers her face with both hands

And can’t bear
To look.

Why am I sending this along?

Well, I don’t know what’s been happening at your house, but it’s possible that at mine the stress/upset of the last few weeks has—from time to time—made my tongue the slave of masters other than kindness.

So I put this reminder front and center in my consciousness, and it’s been helpful to me.

If you’ve been experiencing something similar, I hope it is helpful to you.


For more on the critical importance of word choice, take a look at “Don’t Give Up” vs. “I Know You Can Do It”