With a certain flourish
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - July 8, 2020 - 12:00am

To act and to speak with flourish will always attract people to us. It will make us likeable since it somehow can show a number of good things. For example, it can show that we are articulate, that we have a good mastery of the topic or issue at hand, that we have a warm personality. It helps others to feel at ease with us, since it can project an air of friendliness and naturalness.

Yes, it is good that we have a desire, an ambition to develop a certain flourish in our style of acting and speaking. We should stay away from anything that somehow conveys a dry and lifeless style, dour, dark, severe, put-offish, or one that shows awkwardness in our speech and deeds.

We should avoid giving the impression that we are reserved and unapproachable. Rather, we should strive that those who see and hear us would immediately feel good and at home with us. It should not be a flourish that puts up walls and barriers among ourselves, but rather wide doors, gates and bridges.

Also to be avoided is that kind of flourish that is loud and showy but deprived of substance. Thus, we just have to make sure that the flourish we want to develop is purified, controlled, properly motivated and directed.

It should not come out as a result of a desire to show off, or to indulge in some selfish motives. It has to be inspired by true love—for God and for others. Anything short of that would make our flourish dangerous and harmful.

A purified and well-controlled and directed flourish would not only attract people to us. It would edify them. It would elicit reactions that would build them up rather than put them down due to a stab of envy or some other negative reactions. It would inspire them also to follow the path that leads to love of God and others. A good flourish would put God always on the spotlight, rather than us.

Definitely, this kind of flourish can develop after having a deep intimacy with God through prayer, meditation and familiarity with the will and ways of God. Let us always remember that God does things always in amazing ways that can trigger in us great awe and wonder. There is flourish in his ways in spite of their hiddenness and mystery.

We need to channel such quality of God in our speech and deeds. This obviously will require some training and discipline, because not only do we have to learn the relevant art and skills which are already daunting. We also have to see to it that our intentions are pure which can even be more daunting given our tendency to self-centeredness. No ulterior motives should spoil the whole affair. But with humility and with God’s grace, we know we can hack it.

And as long as we are properly motivated and our intentions are pure, we can now proceed to tackle the business of mastering the techniques. I guess one of the first things we can do in this regard is to observe good and effective models and speakers. To be sure they will inspire us to really master the social skills and the topic or issue that we are going to talk about.

Then we have to learn how to put passion into our words and actions. We should be as expressive and demonstrative as we can be. What we have to convey should not only be ideas but life itself, something that enters into the heart and core of others.

We also need to master the literary and rhetorical tools so that we can clothe our ideas, messages and arguments in a very attractive manner. Also, we need to study the kind of people we would be dealing with, and adapt, contextualize and even inculturate ourselves, our speech and deeds to the way they are.

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