N.E.W, this is an acronym for No Extra Word. Many are words we produce on daily basis,but have you ever thought about their effects.Don’t you know that just a single word can be the thin line between you and trouble. NEW Policy endeavours to be the guide on words management in various set ups. There is a saying that Speech is silver but silence is Gold,this could not be more practical than in the context of NEW policy.NEW policy can be applied in various modes i.e Strict,Very strict,Superstrict. Clearly from the naming of the various modes its obvious that there is some stern discipline to be applied here.Before even i discuss the various modes,i would like to explain what is the meaning of this extra word governed by this NEW policy.The extra word is that word which once immediately you utter it you start wishing you didn’t say it.Should you be a novice of the NEW policy,once you utter this word ,you start cursing yourself,and asking why can’t you be able to control your tongue.For example, Imagine you are travelling in your car,coming to a road block the cops flag you down,a traffic officer comes to your window and asks you why you have not fastened your safety belt,in the frenzy of answering,you say “Am sorry sir! ,i forgot to fasten it!,today i woke up late!,and i rushed up everything,oh my! ,i even forgot my driving licence!!!” Do you think that officer will let you go without booking you for both offences? Of course no,as a safety measure for you and in pursuit of law,he will book you for both.But why? You must have heard your colleagues at the office detailing stories how they were ‘forgiven’/ ‘escaped’ with minor offences at the same road block.You must be wondering why you were not ‘forgiven’ or ‘ just cautioned’ like them. The answer lies in your presentation and most importantly the words you used,your response sold you out. By just getting startled by the first question,you showed yourself not to be collected ,i,e not settled ,someone in a rushed state of mind,which is a precarious state for any driver,also by going ahead to mention that your driving licence is catching cold at home you drove in the last nail and the good cop had no choice but to book you up.Looking at your response (”
Am sorry sir! ,i forgot to fasten it!,today i woke up late!,and i rushed up everything,oh my! ,i even forgot my driving licence”) any other word after the word ‘it’ is an unnecessary extra word,so in this example we are not talking of one extra word but many extra words,and this is what complicated the situation. I highly bet should the extra words not have been there the cop would have watched as you apologised, frenzily fastened your safety belt,cautioned you and let you go with a warning not to forget again.
Recently we saw a certain Presidential aspirant being bashed for some words he had said earlier on in a pre-casting free talk with some other men ,this had happened way before he even thought of vying for presidency.Of course the fire around these infamous words was being fanned by the players in the opponents camp.In the short clip several uncanny words are uttered ,but there is one word that seems to be the backbone of all others,the word refers to a female body part,it seemed as if it had a life of its own. Actually the mere mention of this word ,attracted the international wrath of WDF,i.e Women Defence Forces(pun),the entire ‘army’ of all women in the world seemed to have received a rallying call to castigate this man,wishfully out of the presidential race.Interestingly even my close to a hundred years old granny in the village knew about it and was hand in hand in with other WDF members ,in saying that this man had no respect for women and had no place in leading the world,irrespective of the fact that my granny was several thousands miles away from the land where this contest was happening,actually technically put ,she was a mere spectator just like the rest of the world was. I highly bet ,if in the infamous clip should the besieged presidential aspirant had used a different term despite the entire context being derogatory,maybe the attack would have been less fiery, or else may have never started in the first place.This clearly shows us there is that extra uncanny word you can utter either on a lighter note or not,in privacy or publicly and the entire world comes raining brimstones on you.
James goes to great lengths to teach us about the tongue,he opens by saying
“Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect,because he or she is able to keep their whole body in check”,this implies that despite the tongue being a tiny organ,it controls the whole body,but the catch is that the tongue is a fire and a world of evil among the other body parts, It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and itself will be set on fire in hell. In a nutshell James is warning us about our words which may be the key to our eternal peace or eternal damnation.Without much beating around the bush he easily warns us that taming the human tongue is not a child’s play,no matter how easy it my appear.What a good pointer as to why we need to pray to Almighty God,study and apply as many courses as possible in pursuit of restraining our tongues.(James 3) .Actually James warns us that if our religion does not help us in taming our tongues,then its worthless(James 1:26). Yeshua ben Sira also tells us succinctly that ” A whip can raise a welt, but a vicious tongue can break bones. More people have died as a result of loose talk than were ever killed by swords. Count yourself lucky if you have been spared the experience of having irresponsible talk directed against you—if you have never had that iron yoke around your neck or those heavy chains on your legs. Slander leads to a miserable death; but in fact, you’d be better off dead. ” (Sirach 28) However he encourages us that
Devout people, cannot be overcome by slander; they cannot be burned by its flames . Its victims are those who have abandoned the Lord; once the fire of slander has been lit among them, it cannot be put out. Slander will pounce on them like a lion and tear them to pieces like a leopard .This is a clear call to us to always cling to God to help us against the slanderous tongue.Don’t you fence in your property? Don’t you lock up your money? Well, be just as careful with what you say. Weigh every word, and have a lock ready for your mouth. Someone may be waiting for you to slip, and if you are not careful, you will stumble over your own words and fall down in front of him (Sirach 28)”. Ben Sira couldn’t have used more stern words to warn us to be always on guard with our words,to always consider what to say or not,now having been greatly admonished by the wisdom from this great sage called Ben Sira we can get to describing the three modes of NEW Policy,Note this policy is conceived with three distinct numbers of people in mind excluding the applicant of the policy but it can be effectively applied to any number of people. 1.Strict mode-this is actually the first/basic mode of this policy.This mode applies whereby the applicant is in a group of one. i.e in company of one more person of either gender ,wealth,class,education or any other classification.In this set up the applicant is supposed to stick to using only the necessary words,i.e to only give out information which is necessary for the dialogue at hand and no extra word more.Furthermore the applicant should always remember whatever you say will be reproduced somewhere else either wilfully or by coercion,either soon or in future,either for good intentions or bad and so on.For example, You(the applicant of the policy) have been invited for some meeting in town,on arrival you find someone else known to you has also been invited and had already arrived,sitting next to him or her a dialogue kicks off,firstly greetings,then either faked or genuine catching up and so on. Lets take a sample of some of the probable statement for illustration purpose.
John(your acquaintance):Mike,how did you reach this place?
Mike:I used a cab,actually even tomorrow i am having another meeting at Old Norfolk hotel,i am planning to use the same cab,so at to be there before 7.am .
By now you must be thinking that John has been told/known more than what was necessary in that context and any other word after the word ‘cab’ is an extra one.
In application of the strict mode Mike was supposed to have stopped at the word cab.
2.Very strict mode–this is the second mode of the NEW policy,it applies in a group of two,this is whereby the applicant is in a company of two people of any classification.It is worthy noting that the informational risks highlighted in the strict mode are doubled in this set up hence calls for more caution with words used,actually the discipline is to be very stringent with words uttered because there is an added risk of the two people later discussing together or individually everything you told them either alone or in a larger group for either good or bad intentions.In this mode we not only avoid the extra words but strive to use as minimal words as possible. For example,one of the people in the group asks you a question.
John:Isn’t this hotel very nice?
Mike(you):Yes it is.
Its worthy noting even though Mike responds affirmatively,he does not go ahead to delve into details.
3.Superstrict mode- This is the third mode of application of the NEW policy,it applies in a group of three or above,meaning the applicant is in a company of three people or more.Another name for this mode is Miser’s mode,this is due to the fact that application of this mode calls for what i may call verbal miserly which sometimes can even be misconstrued to be unsociability.We should bear in mind that the informational risks of what you say are more than trippled here, we must have heard that two’s company three’s a crowd.It’s everyone nightmare to imagine that a certain negative remark you did over your boss being reported to him by more than three persons.This mode requires ultimate discipline for no matter the excitement of the moment,the applicant is supposed to count his/her words if not use only one word.Actually the applicant is encouraged to use the one word responses. For example,
in a relaxed mood in a group of people someone(John) asks you this question:
John: Mike,in a drunken stupor would you rather sleep in a police cell or by the roadside?
Mike(applicant of the policy):None
By now you should have learnt that the stricter the mode of application the fewer the words allowed,despite the setting of the policy picking on one,two and three persons groups,this policy can be applied to any group of people and in any circumstances,it only calls for the applicant’s discretion.
Now having discussed about governance of our words,its also prudent to mention that just like the Centurion in the Bible who requested our Lord Jesus Christ to only say the word and his servant would be healed,(Matthew 8:5-14),we are also supposed to be able to identify and use that one word which carries all.And this will greatly help us to avoid that uncalled for blubbering.
All in all when it comes to words the fewer the better(Eccl 5:2).