9. “A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck a life. A timely word may level stress. But a loving word may heal and bless.” – Unknown
That is a nice little poem to live by and a reminder of the power of words. Words have begun and ended wars, made friends and enemies, ended relationships and led to marriages. Words have the power to sting or to cut; but they also have the power to sooth or to heal.
We live in a world were words have taken on new power, as much as anything because of their new reach. Cruel words posted on Facebook or Tweeted for all to see have a greater ability to cause hurt and harm than ever before. Harsh or callous words posted on Yelp or Angie’s List can ruin a business’s reputation in an instant. Words thrown out in anger can linger forever in the Internet cloud and come back to haunt us when it is least desirable.
“of all the weapons of destruction that man could invent, the most terrible-and the most powerful-was the word. Daggers and spears left traces of blood; arrows could be seen at a distance. Poisons were detected in the end and avoided. But the word managed to destroy without leaving clues.” ― Paulo Coelho
Many companies now do Internet searches for the writings and postings of job candidates, to see if they are as consistently honest and pleasant as they might have appeared during an interview. Perhaps this caution by George Bernard Shaw is more applicable today that ever.
“Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men’s imperfections, and conceal your own.”
So, slow down a bit and chose your words more carefully. Engage your brain before starting your mouth. The words you use say as much about you and who you really are as what it is you’re trying to say. They also send a message to the listener about your attitude and your ability to listen to and understand their words. So be cautious as you use words in your life: remember this little saying –
Perhaps we should all focus more attention on using the words that sooth and heal, the words that encourage and cheer, and the words that embrace and express love. For, if we spit out angry words like crashes of thunder or screams of pain; then, when we express words of warmth and love, they will flow from our lips like music and delight the ears upon which they fall.