Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Have you ever considered the real power our words have upon other people and have on ourselves? You may be like me, I forget myself and will say something without thinking. I don't mean to be insensitive or thoughtless, but I am at times. My words affect others and ultimately myself as well.

Let me give you an example of this. This goes way back, but this further proves how powerful our words are, that I still to this day think of this example often. Right before Halloween when I was in 6th grade (I told you this goes way back!), my neighbor and best friend who was a boy, Billy, was diagnosed with cancer. Billy and I, plus his brothers and sisters and my sister, would walk to school everyday and played together often. We all had been inseparable since 1st grade.
Now at that age, I knew nothing about cancer; all I knew was that Billy wasn't going to school with us anymore. Late in January, on a mild day, I saw Billy out riding bikes with another boy from school. I was mad that Billy hadn't been at school lately so I blurted out at him, "You don't look too sick to go to school to me!"

Those were the last words I ever spoke to Billy as he died February 20th. All these years later and I still haven't forgiven myself for that awful comment.

Conversely, sometimes we don't realize how a small but positive comment and smile of friendship or encouragement can help a friend, acquaintance, or stranger. You can make a difference in a person's life by diffusing potentially embarrassing or uncomfortable situations with a few well chosen words. And it costs you nothing! Try to make it a practice to be aware of the power of your words and make them positive.

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