November 6, 2009
Be Thoughtful Before You Speak
READY8 "A knife-wound heals, but a tongue wound festers." ~ Turkish Proverb
AIM8 “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." That famous childhood saying made us all believe that no matter what someone said about us, it shouldn’t hurt. Sadly, that childhood adage lied. Words DO hurt!
A stick or stone may hurt us physically, but those cuts, bruises and breaks heal, and we eventually forget the physical pain we endured. Words, however, echo in our hearts and minds for days, weeks, even lifetimes. Hurtful words can reverberate years down the road when we think we’ve long forgotten their impact. One simple reminder is all it takes for the pain to suddenly come rushing back.
Have you ever said something you wish you could have taken back? Deep down, you knew what you said may have hurt someone. Unfortunately, once those words left your lips, they could not be taken back. Yes, you can apologize and ask for forgiveness. However, it now depends on how easily the other person forgives you and how quickly she can forget what you said in order to determine the real damage.
Take time to really listen to yourself and the words you say to others. Be thoughtful before you speak! Use your words wisely to build people up, not to gossip and tear people down. Yes, “sticks and stones may break my bones,” but words will always hurt you AND me.
FIRE! 8 If you’ve hurt someone in the past with your words, send her a note of apology today. Better yet, send a note of encouragement to a friend who needs it.