Words with Friends is a fun Internet game. I played it once with a friend. Until he quit. I’m not sure why. I’m pretty sure he was winning. My mother-in-law plays it with her brother. They have always had a friendly rivalry so this is a great way for them to compete with each other while keeping in touch.
Beyond a game, words are a powerful tool. I struggle in my professional writing to make sure I convey my meaning while not making personalized comments. In my personal writing, like here, I strive to make my thoughts and feelings known through essays or poetry. Words that inspire or provide information. My hope is that you will understand my emotions, whether I am angry or feeling silly, through the words I use.
But words can also hurt. Over the past several months I have been aware of how words are used to do damage. I have listened to words destroy another’s reputation. I have heard words that try to make the speaker look better by speaking ill of another. I have witnessed words being used to exclude someone from the group. In one instance I believe the speaker did not understand what they had done. (I like to believe the best of anyone until proven otherwise).
In other settings the words were intentional. They were delivered for the specific purpose of hurting another person. In some cases, I spoke up and asked that the “issue” be discussed at another time. In other cases I stayed silent, because to speak up or speak out would only hurt someone else.
While I don’t have a New Year’s resolution, or goals for 2016, I am trying to commit to small changes. I read somewhere that it is easier to make one small change at a time rather than have a huge goal that seems impossible. One small change is to be mindful of my words.
Because words matter.
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