THE USE OF TEMPERATE OR CIVIL LANGUAGE IN OUR POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT.
The use of temperate or civil language plays a very important role in the political environment. Language or speech is the instrument that brings change, inspires hope, and the determinant to convince thoughts. It is therefore imperative that all political players are circumspect in their speech and language. It is said that the manner and conduct of how one presents a message go a long way to warm hearts, inspire thoughts and drive home the point. One may have very sound and brilliant ideas, however, the manner of presenting them may cause confusion, division and spark mayhem. There is the need to always use temperate or civil language in the political environment.
Also, it is important to recognise, appreciate and respect the views and dignity of other persons or political opponent. There is absolutely no room for insults, bickering, tarnishing of people’s image, character assassination, slandering and mocking during this era and beyond. Ghanaians are generally peaceful, calm, inter-related and God fearing therefore all political players should be decorum in their speech. The political environment is not only at party functions or rallies but extends to our homes, marriages, workplaces, radio shows, entertainment centers and any place where political ideas are shared. Many people become very disappointed when abusive speeches are used by their leaders because they tend to drive away sympathizers or followers.
It is significant to note that in our traditional set up, the role of temperate or civil language is held in high esteem. Therefore, as the chief speaks to the crowds, a linguist receives the message and presents it in a civil and conducive manner to the people in order not to create any confusion. We should determine what we intend to communicate, how to convey our message, when to convey it and the effect or impact on our listeners or audience. Our messages or speeches should be polite, gentle, be with facts and examples, very convincing, inspiring and thought provoking. It should bring people together and bring about change and lead to improvement in the standard of living of the people. The timing of our speech should be very appropriate. It should be when the people are itching to hear words that will motivate them and address pressing issues. If we conduct our WHAT, HOW, WHEN, appropriately, the resultant EFFECT will be a massive change of behavior and success.
It is important to state here that of all the muscles that the good LORD put into our Being, the tongue we use to speak or communicate is said to be the strongest and also one of the smallest muscular organs. It can do a lot of damage; however, it can also bring healing, refreshment, comfort, wisdom, direction and encouragement as is found in “Proverbs 12: 18”.
As we go about our “politicking”, may we be cautious and mindful to use civil or temperate language in presenting our messages. We should also factor the four basic things: WHAT, HOW, WHEN and EFFECT principles and guidelines. We should know that the Ghanaian is very discerning therefore, what we say, how we say it, when we say it will either produce a good or an adverse effect. The use of temperate or civil speech in our political discourse is what we need in our democratic dispensation. May the ALMIGHTY GOD bless our homeland Ghana and help us to use temperate or civil speech in our interactions.
BY VERY REV. MAJOR YAW BOATENG, METHODIST CHURCH, KUMASI DIOCESE.