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If you are an individual who is time-conscious and driven you can become impatient and even upset with people who are more laidback, less proficient or less productive than you would like. And if you aren’t careful, you can end up speaking hurtful words that can cause a great deal of harm. A few kind words go a long way in encouraging positive behavior in an organization, at home or anywhere.  Most successful businesses achieve higher returns on their investment when employees receive words of encouragement and appreciation rather than words of criticism. Likewise, most home environments are more pleasant when they are free of toxins caused by harsh criticism.

I believe that acts of kindness and thoughtful words generate better results than punitive measures.  Biting, hurtful remarks said to another person can’t be taken back and often lasting negative opinions are formed.  The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is absolutely, totally not true. Harsh words may not cause a physical injury but th ey can cause physical harm and affect a person emotionally. Have you ever had someone speak cruel or mean words to you that caused you to become angry? The anger and frustration from being treated with so little respect stings. It can spoil your day easily.   Harsh words spoken repeatedly over a period of time, days, and possible years, may cause a person to suffer psychological trauma.

That’s why it is so important to watch what we say and how we express our feelings when emotions are running high.  At times like these, remember the following:

  • Unpleasant, rough words expressed may cause a lifetime of anguish.
  • Suicides have occurred because of cruel remarks.
  • Relationships can be destroyed because of harsh words.
  • Avoid heated arguments. They lead to anger and resentment. Tip: cool-down before speaking.
  • Hurting words rarely produce the results you hope to achieve.

Many individuals who are social outcasts have been victims of verbal abuse at some point in their lives. They have suffered at the hands of parents, teachers, insecure spouses, and others battling their own emotional demons. If you find you are prone to speaking harshly to others, pray for God’s help. Do whatever it takes, including seeking help from your spiritual advisor or counselor, to learn to control your behavior. I like to pray to God for guidance before speaking on contentious issues. And Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten