This has been an extremely busy week with lots of encounters with many different people. I have been personally reminded of what I already knew: words have enormous power!
Words of affirmation are among the most powerful. A short heart-felt statement that bears the message "good job" gives the recipient an extra burst of energy to continue pursuing the goal. An enthusiastic answer to a request for help affirms that you are not alone in the given pursuit. Both of these statements generate feelings of enpowerment and confidence to attempt to accomplish even greater exploits in the future.
In contrast, a thoughtless snide comment, often made without considering the implications, can wound a person deeply. When these comments refer to past situations -- with no acknowledgement of growth or change -- the result can be a tremendous setback, resurrecting past issues related to self-confidence and self-esteem. In my experience, these snide remarks typically come from individuals who neither know me intimately nor care about my personal welfare on any level. Given that understanding, it becomes important that the hearer's reaction is consistently that the ignorance expressed through snideness is probably a reflection of the speaker's own self-loathing and must be brushed-off, ignored, and forgiven.
Thankfully, I have experienced both of these scenerios personally this week. I consider myself blessed to have been the recipient of the positive statements early in the week. That built me up so the rude remarks directed my way didn't knock me down entirely, despite the hurt they still inflicted. The next time I have the opportunity to speak into someone's life, I hope that I will recall the power words have had in my own life and decide to use my words to impart life and hopefulness rather than bringing destruction and suffering.