True confessions: I love Martina McBride. I love her lyrics – so thought-provoking and dead-on. One of the first songs that caught my attention was Whatever You Say, and – for whatever reason – that song has been running in my head this past week.
Another true confession: I’m a “blurfer” (blog surfer) and a blog lurker. I regularly read quite a few blogs that I’ve subscribed to in Google Reader, but rarely make comments (no time, usually – I’m on the fly). One reason I have no time is that it frequently happens that the blog I’m reading references something interesting on another blog, so I go there, and so on and so on. I’ve found some amazing things that way! What does this have to do with “whatever you say”? Well, one of my regular blogs referenced this post on Marion Williams-Bennett's blog, so I read it, and it reminded me of this post on Gina's blog.
All of this song-running and blog surfing and all has culminated in a brew of thoughts on the importance of choosing our words carefully:
Growing up, we all heard the little playground adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. While this is helpful against playground insults, it is not true as we get older. The suicides recently of two young girls who were the targets of unkind words is proof. The lyrics from the INXS song The Devil Inside (yeah, I’m old) include the line “words are weapons sharper than knives”. Anyone who has been at the receiving end of truly harsh words can testify to the truthfulness of that, as well.
Abuse in all of its forms is abhorrent and not to be tolerated, but verbal abuse is especially insidious because it can take longer to recognize as there are no outer, visible wounds, and because the scars are also not visible – they are carried in the psyche and subconscious and wreak havoc with the lives carrying them. Often professional intervention is required to heal.
On the flip side, a kind word goes a long, long way. I completely agree with the above-referenced blogger who states that it takes only a second to thank someone, give them a smile, whatever, but that it could totally make someone’s day! Mark Twain stated that he “could live two months on a good compliment”.
Florence Scovel Shinn was a metaphysician and author who wrote several books in the 1920’s. She had much to say about the power of the spoken word, and even declared that “your word is your wand”, creating your reality for good or bad, so it was in your best interest to carefully choose only positive things to say for yourself and to (and about) others.
In an earlier challenge (52CP19: Have I Done Any Good?), I mentioned how important it is to SAY something to those who are hurting or going through a rough patch in their lives. Even the awkward phrase transmits the caring behind it if it is heartfelt and sincere. An excellent quote comes from the TV show (now canceled, sadly) My So-Called Life: ”Sometimes someone says something really small, and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart.”
Finally, I’d also like to mention how important it is that we SAY in our relationships – especially with our significant others. Silence – while it may keep the surface waters calm – does not bring resolution to any problem, but rather festers into defeat and/or resentment. Those you love cannot meet your expectations if they don’t know what they are!
It is also important to verbalize what we love and appreciate about those who share our lives, in whatever capacity. We may think that they know by our actions, and we shouldn’t have to say, but you know how much better you feel when someone tells you, so why not take the time to make them feel that way?
With that thought in mind, let me take this moment to let those of you who read this little blog – as disappointing as it can be on my “off” weeks – and most especially to those who participate in the challenges: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Even the lurkers are much, much appreciated and I love that you take the time to drop by!
Oh, the kind words we give shall in memory live
And sunshine forever impart.
Let us oft speak kind words to each other;
Kind words are sweet tones of the heart.
~Joseph L. Townsend
Paper: Cosmo Cricket Honey Pie dp, DCWV red textured cardstock; Accessories/tools: Nestabilities scalloped heart dies, Martha Stewart doily heart border punch, Fiskars butterfly punch, Primas, ribbon, computer (Home Sweet Home and CAC Pinafore fonts)
Here's Mr. Linky so you can share your creations with us:
Be kind to each other this week, and thank you again for joining me here!