“The tongue has no bones, yet bones it breaks” was something that my father told me when I was a child. The saying is a reminder of what this Maxim is about. When we do not hold our tongues it can ruin friendships or even lives because we cannot unsay what has been said. This fact has led to many people becoming badly hurt by the words of others. Words can scar deeply, so it is very important that people maintain control of what we say.
If you tell someone that they are worthless often enough, they will start to believe it – despite evidence to the contrary. The same thing goes for ugly, stupid or lazy. Harsh words turned inwards fuel the fires of self-doubt and self-hatred. Harsh words turned outwards can fuel hatred and bigotry. There is a history of words being used unscrupulously for the reason of creating anger with particular groups, or even with particular people. It is because of all of these reasons that we need to govern our speech and think before we speak.