Words have incredible power. They can be uplifting or destructive. They can be true or false. They can stay solely with the person with whom you’ve communicated or go in a million different directions outside of your control. This is especially true if you express them in an email, Facebook®, Twitter®, or text. Words also reveal much about our character—especially when we talk about someone who is not present. They speak to our trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, and respect.
In the past few years, some horrific tragedies have occurred among young people when they were publicly ridiculed through gossip, texts, or social media sites. Some of these even resulted in suicide. So much heartache—all caused by the power of words—used heartlessly and irresponsibly.
One way to demonstrate impeccable character is to only say things about other people that you wouldn’t mind them overhearing. Try it even for a week and you’ll be amazed by how this affects your choice of words. You’ll be admired by others for your tact, restraint, and uplifting spirit! And, if you can get others to join you, it might be the beginning of a wonderful movement in our culture! Are you up for it?
What are some ways you’ve helped build a positive culture of words in your classroom, school, family, workplace, or community?