Thursday, February 9, 2012

Words Have Power

We may have the right to free speech, but speech is not entirely free.

I have not always believed that what we think, or say, has any effect on our lives. I believed it was important to have integrity, confront the moment, and say what I meant at the time I was in the situation.  I felt it was important for many reasons, the biggest reason, was to act or share in that moment in time. But, life has taught me that we must think about what we are going to say, in all situations, before the words come out.

Growing up, my mom would always tell me to watch what you say! Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Written or spoken, words are what guide us through life. They have the power to lift us up, drag us down, wound us deeply or even heal our hearts. Words have the power to break confidences, build life long alliances and let's not forget, start wars. The bottom line is that words shared and not well thought out, have the extreme power to make or break us, both as individuals and as a society.

The words we speak can have a profound effect on the people they reach. Ask yourself if you are  encouraging or discouraging? Are you building up your spouse, your friend  When your words are not processed and put together properly they have the ultimate power of tearing down our own families . Our thoughts put into words have the power to cause the destruction of our self-esteem, health, happiness and prosperity.

I know there are times for all of us when we said something, and usually without thinking first, we say to the person or persons, "I was only joking."  The problem is, you cannot take back those words from that moment of time.  The impact of there perceived meaning has already stung and we cannot act innocent, or somehow not responsible for spewing forth from our mouths. The message today and a good reminder for all of us is that there are always consequences for what we say, whether or not we realize our impact.

As a father, I have done my best to be consciously aware of my words. because I knew that they would shape the life of my daughter growing up. If she heard me being critical and judgmental of someone, she would learn by example to criticize and judge and even hate. However, when I did or said something positive, she would be a very accepting and loving human being.  Sharing positive words or thoughts about people, or even and apology when I was wrong, I knew that she would be very caring, honest, and apologize when she was wrong and mean it with all sincerity. None of us are perfect and from time to time I have put my foot in my mouth because I went with the feeling of the moment and while the damage may have already been done, admitting to being wrong, always made me a better person, regardless.

I ask all of you to remember to think before you speak.  To remember that the words you are about to share have power and the meaning can be left to interpretation, cause pain and become a young persons learned behavior.  On the other hand, words can inspire us to greatness; they enable us to share our deepest feelings with one another. Words can change us as individuals. When used with care, they can change the world around us. Do you best to choose to use your words with wisdom and love, to encourage and uplift.

I share with this closing quote.  "If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought." - Peace Pilgrim

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