Limits on words are no exception

03-05-2021 12:58 PM

By Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh

The Creator has given us the ability to speak, more abundantly and complexly so than in the case of any other creatures known to us. And this is a great blessing.

Another of the Creator’s blessings is that speaking is for free. We pay not one single penny for what we say, or how much.

And this is rare in today’s society, where we pay for almost everything we do or consume: transportation, electricity, water, air-conditioning, the Internet, etc.


Does his mean, however, that we should use language lavishly and limitlessly; with no restrictions and no boundaries?

The answer is: not exactly.

In any context we speak, there are always limits, represented by rules, norms, protocols, etc.

Take the classroom, for example. Or the lecture, seminar, conference, Friday or Sunday sermon, radio or TV interviews, etc.

We answer when we are asked, and we stop when we are expected or requested to do so. And there are always limits, in varying degrees, on what precisely we say.

In all these cases of formal settings and others, all kinds of restrictions are placed on words spoken, including how much and how.

There are, in other words, limits related to substance, and limits related to tone.

But limits are enforced even in informal situations: chatting with family members at home, with colleagues at work, and even with friends.

There are, simply, limits to people’s concentration span, patience, tolerance, etc.

And those who transgress, in formal or informal situations, always get into trouble: they are shunned by others, repulsed, banned, and sometimes punished, depending on the nature and gravity of the transgression.

People who are conscious or considerate and respectful of such norms, rules, or protocols manage fine; those who do not — or know but unwittingly or deliberately subvert — end up paying a price.

One particularly problematic situation these days is with social media. Because people do not pay, because they have access 24/7, because they think they own these venues and think they are private, many people transgress or know no limits.

Some write or speak as if they were alone in the privacy of their own bedroom.

As a result, they fall into trouble, with the law and with other people.

This is, in fact, a big problem in our society these days, due to either naivete or ill-nature.

To avoid any trouble, both with institutions and with people, including family and friends, people should always recognise one basic fact pertaining to human societies anytime, anywhere: there are always limits to anything and everything.

Limits on words are no exception.

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