Written word, spoken word, even the words that we only think that never enter into the world or leave a mark on anyone more than the person whose mind they fluttered through.
Words are perhaps the most powerful thing we have.
Yes, I know the saying, "When deeds speak, words are nothing."
But sometimes there are no actions that can take what's inside a person and make it present to the world around them.
Without words, I could never reach out or touch any of the friends I've made through the Internet or Blogosphere.
Little words can accomplish great wonders.
Or great harm.
Little, seemingly-insignificant words can plant the tiniest of seeds that, one day, could grow into something mighty and inspiring, or powerful and destructive.
Five years ago when qualifying with a firearm my Daddy and I were talking about guns and the respect you must have for them. And then he took the conversation to another place with a casual statement.
He compared the destruction of a gun to the destruction of a word. Used recklessly, they can both destroy, hurt, injure, break, or devastate. Used recklessly, they can both cause damage that can never be reversed.
Just as the bullet leaves the barrel with such force and speed that it could never be captured and placed back into the chamber, so do words.
Just as the bullet pierces, tears, and wounds the intended target, so do words.
But words have a stronger power to do good. Words can be used without injury or death. Words can build up, reach out, and even save others.
"You did a great job, today"
"You make me happy."
"You have such a wonderful talent!"
"You mean so very much to me."
"I forgive you."
"I love you."
These words build. They fix. They encourage. They save.
Actions are mighty. But so are words.
Choose yours wisely.
Smart people speak from experience. Smarter people, from experience, don't speak.
The fish that gets in trouble is the one that opens its mouth. You never saw a fish on the wall with its mouth shut.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalms 141:3)
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.
The most important things are the hardest to say. They are things you get ashamed of because words diminish them, words shrink things that seemed so timeless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.
Kind words, kind looks, kind acts, and warm handshakes; these are means of grace when men in trouble are fighting their unseen battles. (John Hall)
Good manners and soft words have brought many a difficult thing to pass. (Aesop)
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness (Audrey Hepburn)
Kind words produce their own image in men's souls; and a beautiful image it is! They soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to. (Blaise Pascal)
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around (Leo Buscaglia)
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. (Mother Teresa)
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody. (Benjamin Franklin)
Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29)
We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. (James 3:3-6)