Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Power of Words to Harm or Heal

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the power of words.
Perhaps that is because my "Love Language" is words of affirmation and I find myself a little more sensitive to not only the words people speak as a reflection of how they treat others, but the way in which they speak those words.

Although this is a topic which is not exclusive to fostering, I have visibly seen the hurt and SHAME in at least one of my foster child's eyes as a result of obvious verbal abuse he had been through.  

I happen to strongly disagree with the adage "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me."  I believe that the damage left behind by words is REAL.  I believe that words have the power to sting and cut as deeply as a knife or, conversely, serve as a salve of healing.
With those thoughts in mind, here are some more useful reminders about the power of the words we speak- because wouldn't you agree that it's easy to be polite and speak kind words to strangers, but much more challenging to refrain from raising our voices in moments of frustration and impatience to those closest to us- including our spouses and children?

In the words of Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D: (I LOVE this)
On a related note and in a much broader application,  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said:
 "Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become as he can and should be."

No comments: