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Published in the August 2022 Issue Published online: Aug 17, 2022 Lifestyle Susan Stucki
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By Susan Stucki

OCCASIONALLY I have contemplated what our environment would be like if the words we spoke to others hung in the air as if carved out of wood. Would we be proud to sign our name on our comments and conversations? Would we be more careful, more positive, and more focused on complimenting and sharing constructive comments if we realized the far-reaching effects our words, thoughts and intentions have on others?

K. McCarthy said it well.
“Be careful of the words you say.
Keep them soft and sweet,
Because you never know, from day to day,
Which ones you’ll have to eat.”

I was intrigued by the experiment Dr. Masaru Emoto, conducted demonstrating the power of human thoughts and intentions. His work demonstrated the evidence of positive thinking, confirming what I have long believed. Our communication with others, as well as our thoughts, intentions, and emotions, has a profound impact.

Dr. Emoto filled two jars with rice. On one container he wrote “thank you” and on the other “you fool.” He then instructed a group of school children to speak those exact words to the rice in the jars as they passed daily. After 30 days, the rice in the container with positive thoughts had barely changed while the other was moldy and rotten.

Fascinated by his results and eager to test this theory, I decided to conduct my own experiment. I cooked a batch of basmati rice, spooned equal amounts into three identical jars, sealed each container tightly, and then strategically placed them where I could have daily access. I chose to label my jars LOVE, HATE, and wrote nothing on the third jar’s label. Not certain whether conveying loving thoughts to the LOVE jar would disturb the intention I had for the HATE jar, I placed them in different offices. However, the blank jar I came to refer to as NEGLECT/IGNORE was at the end of the same desk where the LOVE jar was strategically placed. Over a period of 3 months, I spoke to each of the first two jars. Whenever I spoke to the LOVE jar, it was optimistic messages and encouraging words of affection and positivity. My intent was to share words that would make this rice feel praised and valued. Sometimes I would lovingly pick it up but always used a loving, positive tone of voice as I spoke words of affirmation, acceptance, and affection.

To the HATE rice jar, I spoke words such as disgust, dislike, discord among other negative comments. To be honest, I had to search deeply to find words to use with this jar as they are not part of my vernacular.

I did not speak to Jar #3, which was unlabeled and set out with the intention of ignoring and neglect.

My hypothesis is different from Dr. Emoto’s and others who have posted their similar experiments online. After the 90 days, the LOVE jar and the HATE jar were not much different in appearance. Perhaps I did not convey as much negativity as was needed to make the rice rot. The HATE rice was discolored and had shrunk a little more than the same amount of rice in the LOVE jar. But the NEGLECTED/IGNORED jar of rice was shriveled and yellowed significantly more than the HATE rice. I found it very interesting that, at least in my experiment, being ignored and neglected was even more detrimental to the rice than the rice that received negativity.

Could it be that being spoken to in any manner is better than being ignored? I don’t ever advocate negativity, but the conclusion I have come to is that being ignored and neglected is severely damaging and has a harsh impact.

If our thoughts and intentions have that much impact on a jar of rice, what impact do they have on the people in our circle of influence? 


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