Too often we forget about that when we're deep in conversation or making an off-handed comment.
Words can be a blessing, but they can also be a curse. Or at least they can cause pain. Create misunderstanding. Break a heart. Ruin a relationship.
I've regretted careless words that have hurt others, and I remember careless words tossed my way from 40 years ago.
Once hurtful words land in your heart, they're not easily discarded. Sure, you can move forward. You can be brave and pretend that you're not hurt. But words do hurt us.
I've been thinking a lot lately about being the best I can be--in all areas of life. I've decided one of the best things to do is to be mindful of the words I use, and to be mindful of only dishing out kind words, encouraging words, and to bite back words that could cause someone to stumble or be hurt.
Here's something I learned as a child: the first rule of etiquette is to never make someone else uncomfortable. If we think about that, we might press our lips together before we say the wrong thing.
**The poison of coarse words hurts the speaker as much as the recipient.**
Don't return insult for insult. It makes you the small person. The temporary pleasure you might get from tossing a barbed comment will pale when you realize the poison of coarse words hurts the speaker as much as the recipient.
Here are some thoughts to ponder:
- You don't have to agree with someone to treat them kindly.
- A kind word costs you nothing, but can mean the world to someone else.
- Kind word have the power to create a force for good in someone's life. When I was a child I was struggling with a task, ready to give up. My sweet Auntie saw me and took a moment to praise me for my patience. I've tried to live up to those words for 50 years.
- Kind words spoken to others reflect well on the speaker.
- An encouraging word can propel someone toward success.
- A gentle word can soothe a wounded spirit.
- Speak kindly when you get the opportunity; an unspoken kindness can be a regret forever.
- A gently spoken truth at a difficult time can be the kindness someone needs to hear.
Bless others with your words, you may never know what a well-crafted sentiment can mean to someone.