Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Problems Vs. Issues - The Use Of Language

(Painting by Shoshanna Bauer)

The Sudilkover Rebbe stopped me on two separate occasions in the midst of our conversations and suggested that I use the word "issue" instead of the word "problem". The Rebbe explained that I was inadvertently training my mind to think in a negative way by using the word "problem" since this word has a negative connotation while the word "issue" does not.

In order to maintain a constant focus on only the good, the Rebbe told me that it was extremely important to always use words that were both positive and refined.

While I consistently try be cognizant of the words that I speak on a daily basis, up until this point I had never stopped to consider that using a word like "problem" could be an issue.

12 Comments:

At November 19, 2008 at 6:42:00 AM EST, Blogger rob_weemhoff said...

It is even worse if you are reminded to call every problem an opportunity.

 
At November 19, 2008 at 7:20:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

Rob, that made me laugh.

ASJ, I really do think that using positive language forces us to look at something from a different angle. Actually succeeding in doing it is an..... issue for me.

I really need to own a giant version of that painting. Like right now. Mkay?

 
At November 19, 2008 at 10:15:00 AM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Wow! What we say does make a difference.

 
At November 19, 2008 at 10:18:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Even though the Rebbe told me this a few months ago, I still catch myself and have to correct myself anytime I begin to say the word "problem".

 
At November 19, 2008 at 10:30:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a very deep concept, a continuation of the axiom in sefer hachinuch - l'fi hapeulos nimshachin halevavos. Peulos are "maaseh" which is two steps away from "machshavah". So kal vachomer that l'fi hadiburim nimshachin halevavos, since "dibbur" is one step closer to "machshavah" than "ma'aseh" is.
We build through our words. "Bris krusah lasefasayim".
kol tuv.

 
At November 19, 2008 at 11:44:00 AM EST, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Lately, when people use the word "issues", they often clearly mean "problems".

 
At November 19, 2008 at 10:57:00 PM EST, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Your posts on the Sudlikover Rebbe's advice to you have been some of the most powerful ones on your blog. Thanks for sharing with us. There is tremendous wisdom in that man.

 
At November 19, 2008 at 11:11:00 PM EST, Blogger Yirmiahu said...

"Lately, when people use the word "issues", they often clearly mean "problems"."

Nevertheless, I don't think the effect is the same.

It is always important to watch how we frame an issue, especially when talking to one's self.

 
At November 20, 2008 at 4:35:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Jonathan: I appreciate your feedback and couldn't agree with you more.

 
At November 23, 2008 at 3:20:00 AM EST, Blogger rickismom said...

I thought that this is very good and true. And I love the painting.....

 
At March 10, 2009 at 11:16:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Shoshanna said...

Hello,
I'm the artist of the painting you used for your blog. I don't mind you using my image but if you could please also post a link to my website in addition to my copyright.
http://www.shoshannabauer.com

and Copyright © 2009 Shoshanna Bauer. All Rights Reserved

 
At March 10, 2009 at 1:20:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Certainly. I just linked to your site and your copyright information now appears in the comments section.

 

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