Language does have the power to change reality. Therefore, treat your words as the mighty instruments they are – to heal, to bring into being, to nurture, to cherish, to bless, to forgive. – Daphne Rose Kingma
This morning I got a brief mail from my aunt (also my godmother) telling me how much she and my uncle like my blog. Since my uncle refuses to use the computer, she prints the posts for him. That they take the trouble to read and that she took the time to let me know touched me deeply.
Two years ago, one of my students (now a priest) spoke to me about ten years after I taught him. He said: “I remember how you spoke to me out of class and told me that you appreciated my behavior in class, but you’d be happy if I showed more energy and talked a lot more. Now I am bold and can handle my own class of students. Thank you.” I don’t remember saying those words to him, but obviously they had an impact.
I began to think of how our words have such a power over others. Something you might say to someone in passing might become very important for them. Just as we can use words to build and encourage others, we can discourage and break them too by saying something, we may not even really mean. I know I have done that and had it done to me too.
There once was a wise sage who wandered the countryside. One day, as he passed near a village, he was approached by a woman who told him of a sick child nearby. She beseeched him to help this child.
So the sage came to the village, and a crowd gathered around him, for such a man was a rare sight. One woman brought the sick child to him, and he said a prayer over her. “Do you really think your prayer will help her, when medicine has failed?” yelled a man from the crowd. “You know nothing of such things! You are a stupid fool!” said the sage to the man. The man became very angry with these words and his face grew hot and red. He was about to say something, or perhaps strike out, when the sage walked over to him and said: “If one word has such power as to make you so angry and hot, may not another have the power to heal?” And thus, the sage healed two people that day.
Do you recall something someone said to you that still resounds in your mind years later? Do you realize how much your words might change a life?