The Power of Words

Words have always fascinated me. Words empower us to express ourselves and show to others who we are and what we think, believe and feel.   The spoken or written word can be positive and uplifting or can be cruel and wreak havoc on lives and situations. And sometimes, truthful words can be exactly what someone needs to hear. Sometimes things can be said without censure or thought changing forever the way people perceive us or themselves. As school children we may have defended ourselves by saying “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” to the cruel taunts hurled our way by bullies.  How untruthful that statement is. One only need read the papers for stories of bullying emails and posts that led to someone’s suicide.
A new public service announcement featuring “Glee” star Jane Lynch and a darling little girl reminds us of how negative words affect those who hear them. Perhaps these words are meant to be humorous.  They have become clichés, or cultural slurs that have been used for generations and too often accepted by society.  
Every one of us has the power to make a positive impact on the world by choosing our words thoughtfully. This is expressed in a famous quote: “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”   – Buddha
Our choice of words can make the difference in helping or hurting a relationship. Lifestyle coaches choose truthful words to help their clients grow.  Words of encouragement and validation can be a powerful catalyst to the young or to those learning a new task.
Someone once told me that you can only speak with the words you know so work everyday at adding words to your vocabulary.  If you only knew the word blue and didn’t know about teal, aquamarine or periwinkle you would be like an artist who could only paint with one shade of blue.  The more words you know the easier it is to express yourself.
No doubt our words have an impact on others. They have awesome power. Make sure you choose your words wisely.