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It’s Not Only Words #MondayMusings #MondayBlogs

Remember, the lyrics of the song that went “It’s only words….and words are all I’ve got …”. I’m thinking it’s really not only words. Because words have power.
it's not only words

It’s Not Only Words

Some time ago, 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  she took the time to let me know, touched me deeply.
 
A few 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. 
Another student, also a priest now, recently reminds me he will never forget how I responded to him telling me that he wanted to become a priest. I had forgotten. But he remembered that I said, “Don’t forget to stay human.”
 
I  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.

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

Do you recall something someone said to you that still resounds in your mind years later? Do you realize how your words might change a life?

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19 Comments

  1. […] Words have power. We all know that. We’ve experienced this as readers, as listeners, when the words of someone else – written, spoken or sung – have either lifted us up or broken us. As writers and bloggers, and in our relationships, we too have used words to build or break others. […]

  2. […] It’s Not Only Words via CorinneBlogs. I know I shared a different post from Corinne’s blog here a few weeks ago, but she keeps writing such amazing posts that I couldn’t help but to link to her again today. Go read this post. If you enjoy it as much as I did, be sure to scroll through her archives as well. […]

  3. Vishal Bheeroo Vishal Bheeroo July 6, 2018

    Being recognized for playing a role in someone’s life can be the biggest gift and you sure have loads for instilling confidence in your student. Small words can motivate one to conquer fears and reach for the sky.

  4. Reema D'souza Reema D'souza July 5, 2018

    There have been many such instances when something that someone said has made an impact on me. Often even some genuine words of gratitude or encouragement have a lot of power. Also, there have been times when people have told me that reading a post or a poem of mine made them feel better. That feeling is the best one 🙂

  5. Obsessivemom Obsessivemom July 5, 2018

    Loved that story about the healer. Words do have power – both negative ones and positive ones. Sometimes someone, mostly a friend, quotes a line from my blog and that’s such a thrill. The fact that my words touched someone deep enough for him or her to remember it makes writing worthwhile.

  6. Anagha Yatin Anagha Yatin July 5, 2018

    I always love it when you share anecdotes Corinne. With such tales, understanding the topic becomes easy. I can see your point as clear as crystal. All the experiences that you shared, hit the message hard, specially because they have roots in real world.
    My Maths teacher had once told us that “Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan”. Looking back, I could see umpteen instances in life where these words turned out to be the only truth!

  7. Alice Gerard Alice Gerard July 5, 2018

    Words do have great power. Once they are let out into the universe, they can never be removed. They have the power to break hearts or to heal hearts, to crush spirits or to set spirits soaring, to create bonds or to create divisions. I do try to choose the kinder path but fear that I am not always successful.

  8. Shilpa Gupte Shilpa Gupte July 4, 2018

    That feels so warm knowing and realising that you said something that touched someone so much, that meant so much to them! I, too, believe that words have an immense power in them. One good word will make one’s day, nay, Life! And, one wrong one can completely break someone from within. I have had my share of good and not so good words from people. Earlier, I would feel really hurt; I do feel hurt now, too. But, now, I instantly remind myself to be good to people coz it feels terrible hearing hurtful words from them for no fault of yours!

  9. Esha M Dutta Esha M Dutta July 4, 2018

    Beautiful post to start my day with, Corinne! I totally agree with what you say about the power of words. It is THE one thing that has always led me to be very cautious with mine, both the written and the spoken ones, because, like you say, they make or break you! It’s a very satisfying feeling when people come back to tell you how they’ve learnt something from you or been inspired by what you wrote or said and you realise how unbeknownst to you, you’ve actually made someone happy or motivated! My son must read this post—I’ll share this with him when he’s back from school this evening.

  10. Modern Gypsy Modern Gypsy July 3, 2018

    What a wonderful story that is, Corinne! I hadn’t heard it before. And I agree with you – our words have the power to build/heal and break/destroy. This is a good reminder for us to be mindful of the things we say to people.

  11. Suzy Suzy July 3, 2018

    One of my teachers at school wrote in my yearbook “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice” – I often think of those words and they help keep me humble.

  12. BellyBytes BellyBytes July 3, 2018

    It must feel wonderful to know that your words have helped so many! Indeed words have more power than we know so we should choose them with care

  13. Vinitha Vinitha July 2, 2018

    Words have such effect on people. I remember both the encouraging and discouraging words told to me by different people. But I don’t remember anything which I told anyone. I wonder how many words I might’ve uttered lifting and crushing others! Words are powerful and we need to use them carefully.

  14. Parul Parul July 2, 2018

    What a beautiful post! Reading about your students, I think you must have been a fantastic teacher. The one kids love 🙂
    That story is amazing. I agree that words can do wonders. I read a quote once and may be I’m mincing words here and there but it was about – ‘ when people talk to you leave, they feel better and positive about themselves.’ I read this and it stayed with me. Still does!

  15. Haralee Haralee July 2, 2018

    What a great testimonial for your teaching to hear your positive impact on your former students. I like the Sage story.Yes I have had people come back to me thanking me mainly for a kind word, a small kindness. It feels like a million bucks!

  16. Karen Austin Karen Austin July 2, 2018

    Thank you for this post. I particularly like the story about the sage, but all of the details are very good.

  17. Sanch @ Sanch Writes Sanch @ Sanch Writes July 2, 2018

    I think words can have an impact…just as the harsh and cruel words can be remembered, so too can the kind and inspiring ones.

  18. Michele Morin Michele Morin July 2, 2018

    For good and for evil, our words do have an impact. In fact, Scripture says we will give account for every idle word (Matthew 12:26), and for those of us who deal in words all the time, this is a sobering thought.
    It makes me so happy that your aunt and uncle read your blog, even to the point of printing it out! (They’ll love THIS post!)

  19. Ramya Abhinand Ramya Abhinand July 2, 2018

    For me it is the words my mom had said a couple of years back, that stays with me forever. Surprisingly when I mention it to my mom, she hardly recollects it and wonders why it had such an impact on me. Words once uttered can seldom be taken back. Realise might as well ensure they are positive ones, that could leave behind a positive impact on the ears it falls upon.

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