Words are a powerful thing. Words can build and lift, comfort and calm, teach and inspire. To the opposite, words can destroy and demolish, incite and enrage, berate and criticize, embarrass and demean. It has been said that in an average day a person will speak somewhere between 10 and 20,000 words. Which means we have that tons of chances every day to say something positive or to say something negative, the choice is totally up to us.
There is an old saying that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever came up with that saying had it completely wrong…what they saying needed to say is “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but unkind words will always hurt me…and a broken bone can heal with time, but the damage done by unkind words might never heal.” Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of verbal abuse or verbal assaults knows all too well how true this is…
What is important to keep in mind is that people who speak negatively of others are people who first have felt negatively about themselves, they are those who are constantly thinking critical thoughts about themselves. After a period of time of only seeing the negative in themselves, that person begins to only see the negative in others too, and often times they start to voice that. They become incapable of seeing the positive, and instead they only complain and condemn. They wallow in misery themselves and they become determined to make everyone around them feel miserable too. Often times they may try to mask their unkind words with sarcasm and humor, relishing in the laughter they get at the expense of someone else. What they don’t realize is that the laughter they are getting is from people who laugh out of fear, not out of admiration, because the last thing those people laughing want is to become next on their list to be torn down. What it comes down to is this, people who speak negatively are not loved; they are feared.
When we are tempted to say something unkind we have to remember this: Negative words, once spoken, can’t be pulled back. We can apologize and try to make amends, but even that won’t make the memory of our words disappear. Even if the person we offended forgives us, they are likely to remember our words for many years to come and the damage done to their heart may never fully heal.
Boys flying kites haul in their white-winged birds;
You can call back your kites, but you can’t call back your words.
“Careful with fire” is good advice, we know;
“Careful with words” is ten times doubly so.
Thoughts unexpressed will often fall back dead. But God Himself can’t kill them, once they are said!
We have to remember that the words we say reflect the person that we are, whether they are good or bad, they are reflecting what we think and feel on the inside to everyone observing on the outside. Our words reflect our character. That goes for both the words we speak as well as the words we write. In today’s world we see so much of people writing horrible things on Twitter or Facebook or a myriad of other social media outlets. Bullying is no longer just for the playground, cyber-bullying has run rampant on the web. And people seem to take more liberty with being unkind in writing then they would dare attempt to verbalize in person. Putting word in written form hurts no less than words spoken, and sometimes it can hurt even more. When I have come across that type of tearing down I can’t help but think to myself: how miserable must this person who wrote this must be to have taken time out of their day to post something so destructive and degrading about someone else….making that effort takes being a truly unhappy person who wants nothing more than to spread their misery…it’s really very sad.
On the opposite end of the spectrum we have those who use their words in positive ways. They are optimistic and happy and they look for the good, both in themselves, as well as in others. They are encouraging and kind and they use the power of their words to build and encourage. People are drawn to them because they know they will lift them up, give them hope, and inspire them to be better. These people are loved, and it is easy to see why. I absolutely love people who use the power of their words to do good. I love learning from them and I love being around them. They make the world a happier place and they inspire me to use the power of my own words for good.
Here’s to making the world a better place by the power of our words – both spoken and written! Have a great Monday everyone! It’s going to be an amazing week ahead…I just feel it!