With words; less is more
Consider the words of the famous fictional character, Forrest Gump. Forrest doesn’t talk using what my grandmother referred to as “four-legged” words. Yet no matter the constant simplicity of his speech, most people seem to immediately understand the deep – and often truly profound – meaning revealed by Forrest’s plain way of communicating.
Now that’s all I have to say about that.
If you’ve ever met local Bristol “landmark”, Shamas Dougherty, you will also hear nary a four-legged word come forth from his mouth. Yet Shamas is commonly capable of conveying brilliant (however simple) wisdom with his words.
Read anything spoken by Jesus in the New Testament. Often Christ quoted as saying less than a minute’s worth of words at a time. Jesus’ speaking style is depicted as beautifully brief (and often in “short story” form); somewhat in contrast to the more wordy and long-winded writing style often displayed by the Apostle Paul.
Yet even the loquacious Apostle was capable of sublime brevity at times. One cannot read First Corinthians Chapter 13 without admiring the timeless grace and power found in so few words. (Maybe Paul was running short of ink when writing to the good people of Corinth.)
Yet here I ramble on, all the while I’m trying to write a column about the advantages of using more brevity and clarity within our speech and writing. Life is filled with paradox, indeed.