Isn’t it amazing how just a few kind and gentle words can make a huge difference in someone’s life? The power of our words to hurt or heal is incredible and we should really give more thought to what we say, since they wield such incredible power.
I read a story this afternoon and it really gave me pause to think — with just a few words, we can make a positive impact on another person. My simple “hi, so nice to see you, how are you today?” could truly make all the difference in the world to someone feeling unloved and lonely. Saying “you look so beautiful!” to an acquaintance could give them that morale booster they so desperately needed. The possibility for doing good with our words is almost endless.
“Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don’t mean much to you, may stick with someone else for a lifetime.” -Rachel Wolchin
In a world in which we see so many people tearing down, rather than building up, we should use our words to always encourage, enliven and uplift. I love the story of “The Blue Ribbon” because it helps to show how kindness in our words and actions can have very powerful and positive results.
The Blue Ribbon:
A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her high school seniors for the difference they made in her life. She presented each of them with a Blue Ribbon imprinted with gold letters which read, “Who I Am Makes A Difference.” She told the class how each student made a difference to her and the class. Afterwards, the teacher decided to do a class project to see what kind of impact acknowledgment would have on their community. She then gave each of the students three more ribbons and instructed them to go out and spread this Blue Ribbon ceremony. They were to follow up on the results, see who honored whom and report back to the class the following week.
One of the students honored a junior executive in a nearby company for helping him with his career planning. The student gave him a blue ribbon and put it on his shirt just over his heart. Then the boy gave him two extra ribbons, explained their class project on acknowledgement and enlisted the executive’s help. Later that day the junior executive went to his boss and told him that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius. The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue ribbon and would he give him permission to put it on him. His surprised boss said, “Well, sure.” After placing the ribbon above his boss’ heart, he asked him to support the efforts of the class project and pass on the extra ribbon.
That night the grouchy boss went home to his 14-year-old son and sat him down. He said, “The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office and one of the junior executives came in and told me he admired me and gave me this blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine, he thinks I’m a creative genius. Then he put this Blue Ribbon that says ‘Who I Am Makes A Difference’ on my jacket above my heart. Next he gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honor. As I was driving home tonight, I started thinking about whom I would honor with this ribbon and I thought about you, son. I want to honor you. My days are really hectic and when I come home I don’t pay a lot of attention to you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough grades in school or for your bedroom being a mess. But somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life. You’re a great kid and I love you!”
The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he couldn’t stop crying. His whole body shook. He walked over to a drawer, pulled out a gun, stared at his father and, through his tears said, “I was planning on committing suicide tomorrow, Dad, because I didn’t think you loved me. Now I don’t need to.”
Author: Helice “Sparky” Bridges
Join the Blue Ribbon Challenge and help them to reach 1 billion people
The last sentence in that wonderful story is jolting, isn’t it? But this can happen. Sometimes, we say just the right thing to the right person at the right time and it makes all the difference in the world. That is why we should all make the conscious effort to choose our words carefully and to always be mindful to speak healing, positive, kind and uplifting words as often as we can.
“Your words have power. Speak words that are kind, loving, positive, uplifting, encouraging, and life-giving.” – Unknown
“Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.” -Yehuda Berg