To my knowledge, he is the only boyfriend who cheated on me. It was as devastating as you would imagine. For nearly a year he continued to try to regain me, but the problem wasn’t simply the act itself, it was this: his word no longer had currency with me. Not only had he cheated, he had used words deceitfully. He could not offer re-assurances or promises that had weight because his word had lost its inherent value.
Someone significantly above me in a chain of command excelled at subtlety and crafting his words to achieve his ends. Many staff had intuited that although the words were technically truthful, they were not the whole truth, and the end result was in fact a dissembling of the truth. Through an extraordinary set of circumstances, an absolutely critical moment to him came up and I held an important key. He approached me, nearly frantic, for that key. But he had no currency to bargain with. His words were the equivalent of tin. I declined them.
Impeccable: In accordance with the highest standards of propriety; faultless
Being impeccable with our word isn’t about superficial truthfulness – the kind that allows us later to say, as if surprised, oh! Did you think I meant *that*? I didn’t say that! I meant *this*.
Being impeccable surely must mean we take care that the hear-er has a reasonably accurate and complete understanding of things. That they have the information they require to be safe at minimum, but better, to thrive.
Being impeccable with our word is also about restraint, I think. This is not easy for a blogger! But excessive words by definition are deceitful, are they not? – they suggest more than really is – hence the sad expression: Talk is cheap.
I don’t want my talk to be cheap. And I’m so deeply grateful for the many people in my life whose word has high currency value. This is no an easy thing, increasing the value of our word. It costs us so many things – we can no longer duck out of things, we may forfeit opportunities, it may be lonely sometimes. But as I enter midlife I am increasingly convinced that I want to offer – and receive – ie., exchange, high currency words than nearly anything else I want in life.
God help me in this.
Photo Credit: Wasabicube