Words are powerful tools. I've discovered that since I started blogging. I also have discovered how difficult it is to order them correctly since I started experimenting with different styles of writing. Your words could have a massive influence on someone's life - whether that be positive or negative.
Similarly, in every day life, when speaking to other people why shouldn't you think before you speak? Yes, there are ways of being witty, sarcastic, clever, thoughtful... but what about using expressions that will stay with someone for the rest of their lives?
When I found out that my daughter had cancer, an aunt of mine said that "it was God's way of testing her".
Huh?! Say what? Jesus wept!!!
(yes, I realise the irony there)
To this day I have no idea why she said that (other than being a devout Catholic and an unquestioning believer in her faith, for which I have some respect). And because of her age and position in our family, I had no way of querying why she said what she did. Did she believe that God would really smite our daughter (or any human being who He had created?) with such a cruel and unforgiving disease? What if she hadn't survived? Would that have meant that God deemed her not worth of this Earth and her life?
Another single sentence said to me one day by my mum has stayed with me, and always will, but for very different reasons When I met my (now) husband at age 18 and left home, my parents made it blatantly obvious that they didn't approve of him and/or our relationship. Nine years later, whilst pregnant with my third child, we were sat in a coffee shop and she said, "I'm sorry for doubting your relationship. I was wrong." Mum and dad had recently split up after 30 years of marriage - maybe that's what made her say what she did? Was she reassessing how relationships work? I never courted approval from my parents but to hear her say that after so long just struck a chord.
Is it as simple as "if you haven't got anything nice to say, then don't say anything"? I don't think so, really. I think it's more about having freedom of speech but respecting the prerogative. I've probably said something horrible without meaning to along the way - if it was you, I apologise. I hope I've also said something intelligent or humorous or inspirational to someone. Surely we can all take that split second to assess what effect our words will have on the other person and whether it is actually worth it?
Picture credit: Google Images