Words are powerful. They can create hope or they can destroy it. They can lift another person up or tear them down. It is often said that one kind word can change a person’s entire day – and I believe that. It is important to remember that words create emotions and feelings within people. Typically as time passes, we begin to forget things said to us, but more often than not we remember how someone made us feel.
I remember a phone call I had about two years ago with someone that I connected with through LinkedIn. It was a quick “get to know one another” phone call. During our call, my new acquaintance took a few moments to say something along the lines of how he remembers what being 26 years old felt like. He recalled feeling like it was difficult to say what he wanted to do for the rest of his life – where he would best fit. I (still) could not agree more with him. He went on to say, “I know you’ll be running circles around me in under 10 years.” He could tell that my legitimate passions were interconnectedness, developing people and things, and education – all in one phone call. He expressed that I carry myself very well and that my online presence is a positive one. I sat on the other end of the call feeling overwhelmed and humbled.
I felt inspired by his words. I felt fuller. I felt important. I felt accomplished. I felt big. I felt noticed. I felt empowered. I felt so many different, positive emotions all because someone took five minutes to share his words of insight and encouragement.
Take a minute to think about the words you’ve been sharing. Think about your recent conversations with friends, strangers, family, and everyone in between. Think about your Facebook statuses, Tweets, and emails. We have to remember to be responsible for the things we say. It is also important to remember that just because you said something and you feel like you explained yourself well does not automatically mean that other people fully understand what you were trying to say.
We have a great responsibility that comes along with the gift of speaking our minds. Words spread ideas. Words make a difference. Words change lives. Words save lives.
Speak up and speak out – even if your voice trembles. Speak with intellect and share ideas boldly. Speak with respect and speak with compassion. Speak deliberately, truthfully, and vulnerably. Speak for those who cannot. Speak for yourself. Always speak with good intentions.
Pay attention to your words. Think before you speak. Take a few extra minutes to explain something if someone doesn’t seem to understand. Post a positive status. Be all-around intentional with the words you are putting out into the world.
Peace signs and positive vibes,