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The Power of Words


Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so he is. –Publilius Syrus

 

I was talking to my buddy Mike the maintenance guy one day and he told me something that surprised me. He said he appreciated that, no matter who was around, I always said hi to him. That was not what surprised me. He went on to tell me that there were many people in the company who would only say hi to him when it was just the two of them but would not acknowledge him in the presence of others. I was shocked that others treated him this way. Mike did not deserve the awful treatment. He was a great guy and always in good humor. As much as I felt bad for Mike and the way he was treated, I felt even sorrier for the people who were so obviously insecure in themselves they felt the need to disrespect another human being in order to feel good about themselves. In essence, they treated him as untouchable, a non entity. We are all human, none better than the other no matter our job, our status, our color, our religion, our country of origin. Each of us has our own strengths, our own weaknesses, our own imperfections.

Words have power. And, in the case of my friend Mike, the lack of words also has power. Words have the power to hurt or to heal, to tear down or build up, to demean or to add value, to create division or to unite. Each of us has the power to use our words for negative or positive. Expressing kindness to someone with affirming words has the power to alter their mood in a positive direction which, hopingly, the person will pass on to others and so forth. In this way, a word is like a living organism that spreads through society, grows in strength, influencing those it touches, hopingly, changing them for the better.

Why use words to destroy when they can be used to convey friendship, affirmation, love? How much better a place the world would be if we would all harness the power of our words for good.

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