It hit me that what you say to a person can mean everything. It might be in the heat of anger and you let some words slip off your lips. Maybe you think they are just words. Words my friends are powerful. They can change a life.
Maybe you have heard of this analogy. Take 10 nails hammer them into a board. Now pull the nails out. What's left? Holes. Exactly! Your words are like that they can leave damage even if you take them back again. I've heard waiting 2 seconds after a person speaks before you speak back is a good idea. Try that right now. Engage someone in a conversation and wait 2 seconds before responding to them. It shows respect and gives your mind time to filter what you will say. You can read more about being a good listener right HERE.
If you are angry then it might be wise not to respond at all. Or with something short like "I'm angry right now and it would be best if I thought a little bit before we discuss this." Of course we are all calm and cool and collected when we are angry. Dripping with sarcasm. But when we are calm and collected it does give you an advantage of not looking like a donkey's bum in front of other human beings.
Even more than managing our hurtful words lets look at being kind and gentle and intentional. Say you are standing in the check out line and the lady ahead of you is miserable looking. She is literally throwing her items on the belt. What do you do? Well maybe first you make a judgement, "Look at her, wonder why she is so bitchy. Man lady what got your panties in a twist today?" You think to yourself. Imagine you thinking that. How do you feel now? What expression is your face making?
I'm thinking I'm feeling annoyed and I'm scowling. I've just emulated my feelings to match hers. I can shake it off after she is done and leaves the store.
Instead imagine seeing this lady. Before laying a judgement try asking yourself some questions. I wonder if something terrible happened in her day today? Did her car break down? Did her child get sick? Did she just lose her job? Of course we don't know the answer but we've just given this woman the benefit of doubt. You are going to think the best about this person. Now imagine what you feel and what your facial expression looks like.
I'm feeling kindly interested and empathetic. My face shows concern and tenderness.
The woman turns around to reach for her purse from the cart and looks at you. First scenario I would still be scowling. She might be thinking "Look even she thinks I'm no good".
YES it's something as little as that.
Scenario two. She turns and looks at you. She sees compassion, tenderness. You smile at her. Maybe she thinks humanity still exists. Maybe she is incredibly grateful for that one smile. She gives a little smile in return. Something in her heart warms. What ever trouble she is carrying with her is a little less. You just infused some little bit of peace and life into her life. Perhaps she even thinks "I am worth it".
And these scenarios had NO WORDS, just thoughts, feelings, and body language. Imagine adding words. Good helpful kind caring gentle tender words.
If we all practiced this caring with our loved ones, our neighbors, strangers we meet imagine the power we would have to bring peace. And even if we can't bring widespread peace why not bring that for one person. You can change someones life.
Don't forget it!
Make someone smile!