What you say matters. I’m sure you’ve heard that actions speak louder than words. But words have just as much power. I think Yehuda Berg said it best, “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” I think that too often people, especially kids, forget the power of their words. One sentence, barely a whisper into an ear of a friend can change someone’s life into a living nightmare. You think I’m being dramatic? There are kids who take their own lives because of things people have said to them. You have been given the power of words. But with great power, comes great responsibility. I watch people toss out insults to people that are supposedly their “friends” like it’s no big deal. Finding out your friend said some nasty comment about you is like taking a knife to the chest. You can’t breathe, you just want to give up. Life is tough, I get that. It can’t always be sunshine and daises, but that’s what your friends are supposed to be for. To lift you up and take your mind off the hardships. I can’t say I have been a perfect friend. I’ve gossiped and talked about people behind their backs. However, after a while it was starting to break me down, I felt sick whenever I saw the victim of the gossip and I felt awful. What had this person done to deserve the attack of words?
I decided I needed a change. It’s hard and it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact I am still working on it right now, but the fact that I’m aware of my actions and I am making an attempt has to count for something right? I challenge you, start becoming aware of the words coming out of your mouth. What do they say about you? Do you really want to be known as the girl or the guy who is always trashing people? I didn’t think so. My favorite quote of all time that I always try to live by goes like this, “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.” It’s true, I used to think some people’s lives were perfect. In my mind, they were the ideal person. I thought it didn’t matter what I said about them because they were untouchable. I was wrong, very wrong. Everyone, every single last person you know, has struggles and tough times. The words I said didn’t help them or me. Those words only caused hurt, backlash, and the loss of friendship.
That’s my next point, when ugly words come out of your mouth do they help you? Do they gain you more friends or make you more popular? Sometimes the sad truth is being mean helps you stay popular. So to that I have to ask, is that really what you want? Changing the way you talk about people has to do a lot with self-reflection. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and admit to yourself truthfully if you think you could change the way you talk. I know it’s hard to admit you are hurting other people, especially your friends, but it is necessary in order to become a better person. I know this whole process might seem a bit overwhelming, but remember the race is won in inches, not miles. It’s really the little changes you make to your words and attitude that are the most important. For example, let’s say you start by giving one genuine compliment to someone you might not on a regular basis. That’s a start. But let me tell you the most important thing you can do, or really not do. And that’s gossip. Trust me, it’s really hard, but not impossible. Next time you are with a group of people and they start gossiping about someone else, don’t participate, or change the subjects, or if you really want to make a difference stand up for the person. Tell them you don’t understand why they need to gossip and ask them how they would feel if someone else was gossiping about them. That’s when you know you’ve really made a difference.
Hopefully you’ve made it to the end of this post because there is one more important thing I would like to share with you. We all make mistakes and there will be times when you say something you wish you didn’t. That’s ok, the most important part is that you learn from your mistakes and you always take the time to think about how your words make others feel. Remember, just like Yehuda Berg said, words have an incredible power to help and to harm. It is up to you how you use them. Be strong and use your words to help. What you say matters.
If you have anything meaningful to add, feel free to leave a comment and make the world a better place. If you enjoyed this post and want to keep bringing joy and happiness to yours and others’ lives, subscribe to The Kindness Revolution at the bottom of the page! I will be posting monthly blogs!
Everyone has the power to make the world a better place, use your power wisely.