Everything I know about communication I learned from the classic Greeks.
‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.’ Epictetus (AD 55 – 135), philosopher and teacher.
‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.‘ Plato (428 – 348 BC) philosopher, writer and teacher.
‘By words the mind is winged.’ Aristophanes, (450 – 388 BC), playwright.
We can all still learn so much about communicating from Plato, the 4th century BC classic Greek philosopher, mathematician and scientist:
‘The beginning is the most important part of the work.’
‘Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something.’
‘Those who tell the stories rule society.’
‘I’m trying to think, don’t confuse me with facts.’
Our 19th century American literary giants really understood the power of communication. We can still learn a lot from them.
‘Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall’. – Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1809 – 1894, poet, lecturer and author.
‘Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882, essayist, lecturer and poet.
‘Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.’ – Herman Melville, 1819 – 1891, novelist, poet and short story writer.
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Plato, 428 BC – 348 BC, philosopher, mathematician & writer.
‘Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.’ Pindar, 522 BC – 443 BC, lyric poet.
‘Language is the source of misunderstandings.’, Aeschylus, 525 BC – 456 BC, playwright.
The great 20th century British statesman Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) was a master of communication as well as politics:
‘Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.’
Say what you have to say and, the first time you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending, sit down.
‘Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.’
‘Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.’