In Plato's Apology, Socrates asserts that the unexamined life is not worth living. While that may be a bit of an overstatement, many of us have learned during the course of our lives that self-examination that has real depth is a virtue that pays impressive dividends. 

We understand ourselves better, gain genuine insight, and, one would hope, enhance the meaning and purpose of our lives. As we hear from Kenneth Schneyer, self-reflection, and the careful revision that results, also has the capacity to refine the profoundly important words we speak and write. 

Kenneth Schneyer is on the faculty of the Providence campus of Johnson & Wales University in the College of Arts & Sciences.