Are words just words or do they have an impact long after they have been said. I recently came across a book called Your Body Believes Every Word You Say by Barbara Hoberman Levine and it is just one of many that refer to the power of words. You may have heard of Dr. Emoto’s work of freezing water with words taped to them to document the impact of words and even the intent behind the words. (http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/ephoto.html)

A word that I have noticed recently is being used with great frequency by me and others is the word “just”. Notice that I used it twice in the first paragraph. The first one is necessary, however, read the second sentence without the word “just”. It is unnecessary.

I started to realize that this word is being used unconsciously and many times it has an undesirable impact. For example, when someone asks for assistance and we say. “Just do this or that,” it has a demeaning quality. The person asking for assistance feels as if they or their situation has been belittled. If it were so easy to “just do something” the person would probably not have needed to ask for assistance.

Not only do we do this to others, but also we do it to ourselves–and we do it without thinking.

Since I noticed this situation, I have been sharing it with a few people and found that even while I was speaking about the use of “just” I still caught myself using it unnecessarily. It is a habit that I am determined to break. It is an opportunity to be more conscious of all of my words.

I decided to look the word up in the dictionary.

Here is Webster’s has to say:

Just adj fair, impartial, deserved, merited; proper, exact; conforming strictly with the facts. adv exactly; nearly; only; barely; a very short time ago; immediately;

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