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Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email to a friend
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There is an old saying that goes like this: “Speak kindly always. We never really know the hurt that someone carries in his or her heart.” I suppose James the brother of Jesus had that in mind when he wrote the following:
“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell”, James 2:2-8.
What an analogy of the harm words can bring about. There are words that are fighting words; words that hurt to the core; words that create pain; words that can cause death; words that start wars; words that provoke anger; words that heal; there are beautiful words and ugly words in all languages; why not prefer to use the beautiful, healing words? If you are a caring person that does not want to add hurt to another’s life; learning how to use words that heal rather than hurt is important. Here are five ways to do that
- 1. Think before you speak.
- 2. Never say something to someone that you wouldn’t want spoken to you.
- 3. Use a positive approach.
- 4. Never embarrass someone else.
- 5. Never make fun of another person.
Think before you speak
When I say “think before you speak”, I’m not advocating the political correctness philosophy that is so prevalent today. What I am affirming is that while we are not to have a fear of speaking our convictions, thinking that someone, somewhere, may take a personal offense, we should be sensitive to the feelings of others and not intentionally say rude and non-essential things that only harm and have no redemptive value.
As an author, it is not my intentions to be politically correct, nor is it my goal to coddle the sensitivities of my readers. It is my purpose to disclose the truth as I see it, and by doing so I hope it will inspire others to work toward their own personal growth and prosperity. Learning how to use the right words effectively can enhance relationships and promote success.
Unkind words, however, are often spoken with no thought of inspiring that which is good, neither of the damage they can do. It is often during a fit of anger that words are spoken that should never have been said. When anger occurs, the blood leaves the brain to assist the muscles of the body to prepare for flight or fight. Therefore, the average angry person has the mental power of an idiot. Bite your tongue when you are angry and say nothing. If not, you may be forever sorry for the words you say. Apologies may be given later but the harm is forever done.
There is a story of a man who spread some untrue rumors about another person and later repented of it. He went and asked a wise man what could be done to rectify his bad deed. The wise man said to take a feather pillow, and go up on the hillside and cast the feathers to the wind, then gather them up again. The man said why that is impossible. The wise man said yes, and so is it impossible to re-gather your words once they have been spoken.
Never say something to someone that you wouldn’t want spoken to you
I like the quote I used in the beginning of the article, “Speak kindly always. We never really know the hurt that someone carries in his or her heart.” Kind words are a healing balm and unkind words are weapons of destruction. The old saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words never will” isn’t true. Words can be like bullets to the soul. They can do great harm and leave scars that never go away. The golden rule is a guide not to be shunned: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Use a positive approach
You are the supervisor and someone does something wrong in your department; how do you handle it? Would you say something like, don’t you know better than to do that; how many times do I have to show you the right way? Wrong! That only belittles someone and does not get their cooperation. Instead say, “How can we fix this so it doesn’t happen again?” Perhaps there is an issue in the office that needs addressing; what is the best approach…Make a speech that makes people want to crawl into a hole? No! Instead say something like; “What do you all suggest that we should do about this issue?” Or, “Have you guys experienced this situation at the office before and if so how was it resolved?” People like to be a part of the solution and not the cause of a problem. If it is just one person, then it should be handled in private, but with the same tack. The positive approach to most problems is, “I think we can work this out don’t you? What are your suggestions? Use the words “Thank you for your cooperation” often.
Never embarrass someone else
“Embarrassing someone in public is like killing him; a person embarrassed has no way of defending himself, just like a dead man doesn’t.” When I was growing up as a kid I attended a lot of church socials. The only thing I recall now from those socials is the time the adults played a trick on me and all the kids laughed. They put a rubber wiener in my hot dog. Everyone thought it was so funny but me and I was very embarrassed and didn’t even want a real hot dog after that. I didn’t care for hot dogs for the longest time. I know today as an adult I would just laugh at it and then forget it, but it is different for a little kid, especially one that is easily embarrassed. Having a laugh at someone else’s expense is never the right thing to do. Others may laugh but it does not make the instigator look very good for having done it.
Some adults never get embarrassed at anything but there are some that do and rather easily. It is always a bad idea to intentionally try to embarrass another person. Those who intentionally demean and embarrass others publically have a personal problem; it could be because of jealousy; revenge; a mean spirit, or a feeling of inferiority, to name a few.
Never make fun of another person
If you want to make fun, make fun of yourself, not someone else. The journey through childhood is often filled with incidents of being made fun of. The Bible teaches that when we become an adult that we are to put away childish things. Some, however, never do, but continue to take every opportunity to make fun of others mostly behind their back, but sometimes even in their presence and publically.
The above is not about someone else; it is about you and what kind of person you are. It is about personal development. It is about being a leader who knows what to say, when to say it and how to say it. It is a gateway to success. It is about a genuine concern for others. I’ve discovered that having a relationship with God changes one’s attitude towards others more than anything else. When Jesus was asked the question, what is the greatest commandment, meaning of the Ten Commandments? He summed it up by saying that the greatest commandment first, is to Love God and the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. When we love others, we never want to hurt them.
About the author: When I started on the Internet a few years go, I knew absolutely nothing about it, nor anything about a computer. I bought a book to learn the basics about the computer and asked a school teacher friend to teach me to copy and paste. I wanted to write about some of the things I had experienced and learned in my life, especially about personal development, that I thought would be helpful to others; so I ordered some online courses to teach me how to set up a website. I learned that a blog website was the most popular, so that is what I set up. Now, there are over 250 articles on this website alone and I have four other sites. If you are interested in setting up your own blog, I will give you the 53 page informational eBook that I wrote with all the step by step information that I learned to set up this website. It cost me hundreds to learn it but its yours free. There have been over 12,000 copies given away. I hope you get your copy while it is still available. Just put your correct email and first name into the form at the top right hand side of this page.
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