You were born with a potential of infinite tools at your disposal. You began picking tools and using them…but you did not know that you were doing this. Over the years, certain tools became very important to you lawyers: words.
You focused your attention on tools that helped you with words. Reading, perhaps speed reading, scanning, and overviews. You learned all kinds of words, more than most people. You learned to craft words into arguments, persuasive arguments. You focused on the nuance of words, the subtle distinctions words have in different places. This got you through High School…so you went to Undergraduate University or College.
In University, you learned more about the importance of words. You had to pick up the pace. Most of your grades were dependent on your mastery of words. Papers were written, turned in, and graded. Tests were taken and graded. A’s B’s C’s and D’s – they all had their special meaning. It is no accident that the grades appeared as letters, partial words…letters with special meaning to you…letters which let you know whether or not you were special, and just how special. Then you took a test, a really big test and that was dependent on your mastery of words. That test let you know whether or not you could get to Law School...
You went to Law School. More and more words. Written and spoken. Spoken in front of other people…spoken and judged words. The pressure was on. You chose words as a tool, and why not? Words have meaning. Words can make you or break you in this business. You have words outside of you. You speak words in your head. So much attention you have spent on words, language, auditory…finally, you have arrived.
How much of your attention is spent on words…listening...talking...thinking…?
Of the huge number of tools available, you have chosen words. Words as the essence of communication. Words as the essence of expression. Words as the essence...even your essence perhaps.
Words pose the questions and words seem to be the answer. If you put all of your chips on words to win, you may fall short when words are not the answer. What now? Where do you go from here?
Perhaps it is time to develop some other tools in your toolbox?
Okay, now what do you want them to do?
What’s your experience with words? Share with us in the comments below!