Words Create Worlds

Words Create Worlds

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.00.21 PMKathryn Flores
Community Relations and Advertising Consultant
Argyle Living & Lantana Living

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” -Mark Twain

Remember that cheesy saying we kids used to say back when we were getting picked on, “I’m rubber and you are glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you?” If only that were true.

We all know that special feeling that sweeps over us when someone shares something sweet and literally brightens our day, gives us a little spark and ignites our spirit! It puts extra pep in our step and lifts us a little higher. The benefits of a compliment linger much longer than the words. In these days of negativity and hearing words to others that can pierce like a knife, we adults are reminded of the very simple lessons we teach our children. Each of us has the power to make someone else’s day. It’s amazing how positive words and actions affect more than just the recipients. They have two-fold benefits, which leave the giver of positivity receiving more.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” Goodness it sounds great and has a certain super-power feeling, but it simply isn’t true!

Sticks and stones may very well break your bones, but words can break your heart and steal life. Gossip and slander bring a cheap thrill to some, while exploiting and objectifying others. False testimony uses words to misrepresent, caricature, or malign the reputation of fellow humans, usually for selfish gain. Words of cutting sarcasm create pain as they shame, belittle and discourage.

Negative words and actions leave such lasting scars on the people in their path. I still remember hateful comments made to me as a child and as recent as yesterday. Unfiltered words hurled at others feel like bullets that pierce the heart and leave lasting scars. We all have those “insert foot” moments but with swift action, a heart can be mended. It’s that age-old “forgive but not forget” scenario that is replayed all over our lives. It’s crazy to me how the things people say will stick with us, hurt us, motivate us or shape us. Words are so powerful! They’re just letters grouped together that can give someone a smile when they need it most, or slice like a knife leaving egos bruised and hearts broken. We need to be careful how we use words because once uttered, they can’t be retrieved.

I try to remind our boys that most things come down to the basics…be kind and humble, use manners and smile. We certainly all have days that a smile just doesn’t come even when it is invited by someone else. I recently read a quote that summed up all of this for me. I’m not sure who initially said it, but it’s a very powerful and positive group of words: “Better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back!”

As we near a time of thanksgiving, gratitude and pumpkin pie, it’s my prayer that we all remember that the little gestures sometimes make the biggest differences. Choose words for kindness, watch what you say, say what you mean and mean what you say.

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