I always find it challenging when I witness an argument. I heard an exchange between a couple walking along the street as I was following behind. They were hot and tired and started sniping at each other. He stopped, turned to her and blasted her, using a few words to describe her that should not come out of the mouth of anyone, let alone a person who was supposed to be her significant other.
I was directly behind them and saw his words hit her like arrows. She continued along, head down, embarrassed and humiliated. I glared at him. He looked at me. A bully caught in the act. Truthfully, I bit my tongue. I suddenly felt vulnerable, even on the crowded street, unsure of what he might do if I spoke up. He strode on and passed her, telling her to hurry up.
I have regretted not intervening or at least offering support for her in some way. I pray for that woman — and for him as well. An argument is one thing, but if that was a taste of their life together, then I pray she finds her voice, and perhaps, her hiking boots.
I think most of us have been on the receiving end of hurtful comments at some point in our lives. We may have let our own anger get the best of us and said something that we wish we could take back as soon as it was spoken.
Words have power. When we say to someone, “I love you,” there are more than just words at play. There is emotion and intention behind them. When that persons hears those words, there is a reaction to our feelings as well as the words. That person will know whether or not we are sincere. Our emotions fuel the meaning of the words.
If we want to see a kinder, gentler world then we have to be careful about the words we use with one another. We must work hard to build one another up, to compliment, to encourage, to speak words that support and nurture tender hearts.
I am not saying that it is easy. To match our feelings with our words can be challenging sometimes. There is wisdom to the notion of not saying anything if you can’t say something nice.
This I know: words are powerful. They can be used as weapons. I still hear those negative comments fired at me over the years, stinging even now. I am sure you can hear harsh comments voiced in your past too.
Our words can be used as to transform someone’s life. Let’s use our voices to speak words of love and encouragement and watch what happens.
(Oh, and the words of our prayers are powerful too! Our intentions and our loving thoughts for others and the world are immeasurable. More on that soon.)