There are only a few things that I remember being smacked for at home – swearing was one of them. I picked up this language in the playground and taught my sister it before tea. My poor parents went spare! As I overhear conversations on trains and in shops there seems little reticence – four lettered words all over the place and sometimes used by the young.  I think that they are also over used on Television and Cinema – it’s something all of us sort out if we had the resolve. And – as ever – it starts with us.

There are other four lettered words that need to handled with care, perhaps to be uttered less frequently and then with intent. Here is my list!

Do you think that we will ever be able to reclaim the concept of Work? It means much more than task or job! Work can be life giving and changing and therefore holy. It can also become an obsession and destructive. Work for some people is a false God.

Closely related is the word Rest. How hard can that be? True rest – which we all need – can be restorative providing balance and perspective.

Then what about that small word that many use – Hate? When we hate something or someone then we want them to cease to be. It is a negative word with terrible consequences that we use so easily and quickly.

The other overused and under appreciated four letter word is – you guessed it love. I wonder if we might be more thoughtful about this word and its use? Love can be a warm, enfolding and sheltering word but it can also be strong and difficult and challenging. It is something that all of us could be better at – more deeply focused and intentional within.

Words – wonderful – complex and ever fertile in their possibility! Handle with care…

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