Compliment a stranger

First thing, sorry it has been a while since I posted. I just think that you shouldn’t write because “its time”. You should write because you feel passionate about something and feel led to write about it.

With that out-of-the-way, something has been on my mind a lot lately. It is a heavy topic, too much to write in one post. But it is important to me.

The power of your words is something that is taken for granted nowadays. So many people do not realize that what you speak, to yourself and others, holds a greater power than most other outside forces.

Everyone gets angry and everyone lashes out at the people they care about most. Some people even lash out at strangers. But that is not the way humans were intended to treat one another. A father yelling “SHUTUP” at the top of his lungs to his teenage daughter is going to have a profound effect on her. She will never forget his words, but she will also never forget his tone as he said it.

It is impossible to have zero regrets. Because in the heat of the moment, you may not think about what you say before you say it. But the power of what you say and how you say it stays with a person. It hurts them. I was always a very sensitive kid. Probably too sensitive, but my sensitivity made me highly aware of the power that words have on others. Some of the strongest memories I have are words people have spoken to me. The words that made my heart ache for years and years. The words that made me who I am today.

So many people are too involved in their own emotions to think about what they say. However, positive words can have just as much power as the negative ones. Telling a stranger that you like their shoes may be the only positive words they hear all day. Asking a homeless person how they are doing today may be the only words spoken to them in days. Taking an extra second out of your day to give someone a word of encouragement or positive reinforcement can have the same impact as thinking about the words you’re going to say before you lash out. Compliment a stranger.

I know I have hurt people in the past, and I know I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But what I have learned and tried to implement in my life is having just enough self-control to control my words. The waitress that got an attitude when you sent your food back, she just lost her mom to cancer. The retail associate that you just cussed out for pricing something wrong, she’s working three jobs to support her family. Think before you speak.

Even if people are perfectly kind to the people they interact with, many times they lose that filter when talking to a person they love. You may not yell at a stranger but yelling at your mom, sister, significant other etc., hurts the same, if not more.

I’m saying this in the hopes that you think will think twice before speaking. I am saying this because maybe if you think twice about how you speak to others, maybe you will think twice about how you speak about/to yourself. If you show kindness then kindness will be shown to you. I know that sometimes life sucks. I believe that sometimes it seems like you are a punching bag for everyone around you. But I also believe that if you keep going, if you keep showing compassion, if you show other people that there is love in the world, then love will be shown to you. Life is too short to yell and scream at strangers, the people you love, or yourself. We are all limited in time on this earth, some more limited than others. Make that time count. Do good for yourself and others. You need to hear these words. You need to know that what you speak has power. Compliment a stranger, and most importantly, compliment yourself.

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