The Power of Words

The tongue.
Sometimes silent -often deadly.
It can harness an extraordinary ability to encourage.
It can ride roughshod doing untold damage in the space of minutes that can leave a lifetime of hurt.

A weapon like this could do with a health warning.
Maybe enforced silence could be a punishment.
Communication is one of the greatest gifts we have as humans.. people are so much better than things. An afternoon with some of my friends does more to lift my spirits than a year of shopping ever could.

I had one of those afternoons this week. I met up with a friend who I’ve only recently got to know.
You know when you find one of those ‘kindred spirits’ (quoting one of my favourite childhood heroines; Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables).
She’s one of those.
A rare jewel. Quite rare. And not one of those all sparkle and no substance girls.
This one sparkles because she’s radiant.
She always glitters because she’s come through so much & is still shining.

We sat and giggled, shared some of the tough stuff that’s happening in both of our lives & I felt richer for it.
She’s the sort of friend I wish for my kids. The ‘I don’t need to try and be anything other than me & yet I know she’ll accept me’.
You have to hunt hard for them, I tell my kids. Know & learn what a real friend actually looks like.
Sometimes, just occasionally they surprise you out of the blue & turn up when you’re least expecting.

After being encouraged (& resisting a piece of cake = bonus), I left to do the school run.
I heard from her later.
She’d bumped into someone who had thoughtlessly said somthing really insulting. To be fair, they’d incorrectly heard a piece of information & instead of sidling around a question, they just went for it.
The answer wasn’t what they were expecting & I suspect they were feeling somewhat awkward.
They then made it 10 times worse by probing.
I’m guilty of this too.
When will we learn to stop.
Just close that mouthpiece. Apologise & move on graciously.
She didn’t.
The very girl who’d lifted my spirits had hers crushed.

Words. Powerful or deadly.
Thankfully, she won’t be permanently down about it. She’s not the sort.
She’ll stine shine, just maybe not quite so brightly for a couple of hours.

As I hear my kids saying just exactly what first comes out of their mouth, I wince.
I wince as I do exactly the same.
That’s why they have to see how important self control is when it comes to talking.
I need help with that too.

Maybe the noise abatement society might make a surprise resurgence.
Perhaps I should issue my kids with sound proofed masks when they’re feeling frustrated & want to lash out with their words.
Maybe, just maybe I should set an example and..

be quiet..



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