A lot can be said for what we say. The words we choose and how we use them can build others up or tear them down, bring a community together or rip it apart.
Our words are powerful and should be handled with respect. So how do our words impact others, and how can we choose them wisely? Today, we’re going to find out.
Your words have meaning.
The greatest mistake we can make is believing our words have no value in other people’s lives. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and, for whatever reason, you can still remember it practically word for word years down the road? Now consider a similar conversation in someone else’s life—your words could be the ones they have in their head.
The words we choose mean something. Whether that meaning is positive or negative is up to you. If you want to live altruistically and make an impact in the world, try starting with the words you choose every day. How do you talk to others, yourself, your superiors or your inferiors? When we recognize the value our words have, we take the first step in being a positive force among others.
Your words are remembered.
If words have meaning, then they are definitely remembered. Consider the child in class whose teacher tells him he’s never going to be as good of a student as his older sister. This comment could mean nothing to the teacher but will always be remembered by the child.
In contrast, think of the child whose teacher tells him how much she believes in him. Even a simple comment can make a long-term impact, good or bad. Our words aren’t just for today—they’re for every day after too. What you say now could be remembered for years to come, so choose carefully.
Your words make a difference.
Think of powerful words throughout history which have had a lasting difference in our world: “Four score and seven years ago.” “I have a dream.” “Tear down this wall.”
Our words, when chosen correctly, can make a positive contribution to our own lives and the lives of those around us. Words filter through us and into our community, where they are absorbed and reasserted by others. When we recognize the power our words have, we see the impact they carry and carefully choose them based on the difference we want to make.
Speak with mindfulness.
So how can we choose our words wisely? By being mindful of what we say and the effect it may have. Mindfulness is more than just thinking before speaking. It’s considering the people around us and promoting a more compassionate society through our language choice.
Rather than lashing out emotionally and uncontrollably when speaking on an issue, mindfulness means putting thought into how your words could impact others. It means recognizing poor language choice and readjusting to live a more loving life.
The words you choose in your life have meaning, are remembered and make a difference. When we recognize the power in our words, we can harness that power to become a force for good in the community around us.