“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
~~ Patrick Rothfuss
So the other morning I stopped at Quicktrip on the way to work and I saw this lady that I work with. As I was leaving I said something. “Have a blessed day!”
When I was getting out of my car at work she had arrived and was getting out of hers. She stopped me in near tears thanking me profusely for the blessing. She was in near tears.
“I was in a bad mood,” she said. “Grumbling to myself. Feeling sorry for myself. And then you blessed me and I was so startled I didn’t know how to respond. I just kept thinking the whole way here; Yes! I am blessed. I am so blessed. My God is good and I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you thank you thank you!”
And we hugged, Tight.
I was brought to near tears as well. And I don’t particularly like the woman. I don’t dislike her. I try not to dislike anyone. That is awful energy. But wow. With the simple words, “Have a blessed day,” her entire day was transformed!
Our words are powerful. Our expressions are powerful. We all have the have tremendous power of others.
My words have power. I am not talking about in my writing. I am talking about the simple things I say….
When R and I first got together he was constantly surprised at the things I said to strangers. Not only “hellos” but “I love your hair.” Or “That is a lovely blouse” to a woman who was walking rather slumped and looking sad.
“Why do you do that?” he asked me, embarrassed. Raymond is extremely shy. “You don’t even know those people.”
“I don’t know why.” I shrugged. “Why not.”
And then something happened. We were in line checking out when the woman with the lovely blouse walked up to me and said, “Excuse me.”
I turned. “Yes?”
“I just wanted to thank you.You don’t know how bad this day was. How down I was.” She was standing tall and smiling. “Thank you so much.”
Walking out to the car R said, “Now I understand.”
And it’s not just the positive. A single bad word or a single snarl could have terrible consequences as well.
I remember getting one of those emails that no one can know if it was true or not. It doesn’t matter. The message was powerful.
It was about this high school kid that everyone hated. One day one of the most popular kids noticed he was getting off the bus with his arms loaded with stuff. He almost ignored him, but them asked him if he needed help instead. They wound up going to the younger one’s house and having a nice afternoon and soon became great friends. This made people like the unpopular kid. He wound up being the valedictorian. In his speech he told everyone of that day and revealed something more. He had emptied his locker and was on his way home to kill himself. The kindness of one boy transformed his life.
I don’t care if the story is true or not. But it had a profound effect on me. It reminded me of the power of my words. It never hurts me to be nice to someone. And I’ll never stop.
Photo by imelenchon from morgueFile