I have been realizing how much words matter in our daily life. We sit down and we think many thoughts, but when we put those thoughts into words and voice them to others, we cannot know sometimes the irreparable damage we can do, or sometimes the great encouragement we may have been.
We may see a child acting up and we might say “You are going to have fun when they are a teenager.” Implying with subtlety that the child is out of control, or that could not be your meaning, but the parent takes it that way.
We may spread rumors that last a long time about someone, “Did you see what Megan was wearing last night, I wouldn’t be surprised if she is pregnant next year.” That girl if she hears the saying as usually they get back to the person, not only now knows that people do not expect better of her, but they expect her to fail. If she is pregnant next year, and you were the one who said that, it is somewhat your fault. What steps did you take when you saw her going down the wrong path to help her? Did you reach out to her? Encourage her parents?
When you have words remember that every word you say, you are responsible for. Words of judgement can hurt another, words of encouragement can build up and change lives. When we spout off our thoughts on others child rearing techniques, future predictions on what someone may or may not turn out in the future…but what if the child you think might not be going down a good path gets that person who believes they can do better and change.
The movie and book “Gifted Hands” about a troubled boy who was a student with learning disabilities, who because of a mother who believed in him, he went on to be a surgeon who changed people’s lives. All it took was one person, but along the way, imagine if there were 6 people who believed in him?
Look around you today. Think of the people that you could be doubtful of turning out as productive members of society and think of what you could do to change that around. You can change the world with words, both negative and positive ones. Let’s make this new year one where you have a positive impact, not a negative one!