“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
The power of speech is undeniable. It is phenomenal that a muscle so miniscule in the grand scheme of things is able to have such a profound effect. It is not a coincidence that the greatest leaders in the history of mankind have been great orators. Words have the ability to inspire and rouse up large swathes of people. Whether it was Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in 1863, Winston Churchill’s Finest Hour Speech almost a century later, these and countless others, such as Martin Luther King Junior’s “I have a dream” whose fiftieth anniversary we’re celebrating this year, are remembered for the quality of their oration, the precision of their words and the eloquence in which they delivered them.
In other words, the tongue is a valuable entity bestowed upon us that has the power to change people and their outcomes in life. Imagine a world without tongues: no one would have been able to communicate their ideas to others and so many valuable inventions would not exist. It is due to fact that people are able to communicate with one another using the tongue is how knowledge has spread, inventions came to fruitions and human beings have progressed over time.
As with all valuable possessions in life, the tongue too comes with a responsibility. There is a narration from one of our infallibles (AS) which mentions that when a person wakes up in the morning, the tongue asks about the wellbeing of all the body parts. Each of them replies in one voice that we are all fine so long as you stay under control. This underlines the power that the tongue has in all eventual outcomes.
A famous anecdote highlights this point very acutely: A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw h