Have you ever noticed that your words have power and how you use them actually matters?
Our actions and words have power to harm.
The other day I walked into a store wearing a t-shirt that said Kind People Are My Kind of People.
While making my way through the store, I had at least three people walk up to me and say, “I love your shirt!”
When I finally got to the checkout line, the person in front of me was being incredibly difficult and complaining about everything possible to the salesperson.
The salesperson had to go get the manager, and then the angry customer began yelling at the manager.
By the end of it all, the angry customer got whatever they wanted for a very discounted price.
But both the manager and the salesperson were pretty frazzled after the experience.
After patiently standing there for a very long time to just make a simple return, I walked up to the salesperson.
When they saw my shirt, I actually noticed a sense of relief on their face.
Our actions and words have power to heal.
As the salesperson began my return, I made the comment, “That seemed like a tough one.”
“You have no idea,” she said, “people don’t walk in here thinking about being kind. They don’t see us as people. They see us only as customer service, and it makes our job so difficult because some people feel that yelling at a person is necessary to get the job done.”
I was sad to hear about her experience working in customer service, and it really made me think about my interactions with people.
I want to make sure that when I work with someone in customer service, they understand I see them as a person. When there’s a problem, I want to be very clear that I’m not angry; I just want to figure out a solution.
I totally understand that sometimes it’s frustrating when we are dealing with things that make our lives a little bit more difficult in the moment.
But we always have to remind ourselves that our actions matter, and our words have power.
When I left the salesperson after my return was complete, they said, “Thank you for being kind. It really made a difference in my day.”
Just that simple act of being kind and respectful changed someone’s entire day.
That was a powerful moment for me.
Our actions and words have power to save lives.
In 2005, a 22-year-old man named Kevin Berthia was going through a very challenging time in life.
The year before, his daughter was born premature, and the medical costs for her were close to $250,000. Not only was he drowning in debt, but his career and relationship also seemed to be falling apart.
No matter how hard he tried, Kevin couldn’t see a way out of his current circumstances, and he fell into a very deep depression. On March 11, 2005, he made the decision to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge to end his suffering.
Stepping over the railing, Kevin Berthia clung to the bridge, ready to jump 220 feet to his death during the morning rush hour traffic.
But just before he took the leap, Kevin heard, “Hey, wait a minute!”
And miraculously, Kevin Berthia did just that.
For over an hour, Berthia continued to cling to the bridge railing as highway patrol officer, Kevin Briggs, attempted to persuade him to come back into safety.
The two had a very intense conversation as the rush hour traffic whizzed by. Thankfully, the 92-minute conversation culminated with Berthia climbing back onto the bridge.
Kevin Berthia never forgot how Keving Briggs helped save his life that morning.
In 2013, when Briggs was being honored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for his tireless efforts to rescue others, Berthia wanted to be the one to present him with the award.
Nearly eight years to the very day that Briggs saved his life, Kevin Berthia was able to publicly thank Briggs and introduce him to his family. This included two children Berthia would have never had if it wasn’t for Briggs saving his life that day.
This is the power of words and actions.
What you say and do matters.
I truly believe we can positively change the lives of others by how we behave and the words that we use towards them.
Not only can you change the lives of others, but you can also change your own life by the way you behave and the words you speak to yourself.
The above story is just one of the hundreds of stories of people making a difference in the life of another human being, simply by being kind.
Every conversation we have gives us the opportunity to uplift and inspire others.
A simple compliment, a few words of encouragement, or expressing genuine appreciation and understanding can create a lasting impact on someone’s life.
By recognizing and acknowledging the strengths and achievements of others, we can positively contribute to their self-esteem and overall well-being.
Words and actions have a ripple effect.
As we learn to speak with empathy, compassion, and sincerity, we can be the good in people’s lives rather than leaving them with a heavy heart.
Whatever words and actions we use will be passed on to others.
Like a ripple effect, one frustrating encounter can lead to another and another until an entire day’s worth of people have been negatively influenced by our own frustrations.
But thankfully, it also works the same way with positivity. Just one singular person choosing kindness can make a difference.
Imagine how many lives are impacted by one customer service person feeling appreciated and seen by a customer.
We have no idea how many people the power of our words and actions can touch with one simple act of kindness to someone else.
Why? Because they will pass it on. And that person will pass it on—and the next, and the next, and the next.
When we choose even just one act of kindness, it reaches out and touches the world.
Let’s spread positivity.
Negativity tends to be contagious—but so does positivity.
In a world filled with uncertainties and challenges, using the power of our words and actions to uplift and inspire others is vital.
Choosing to focus on the positive aspect of life, even when things are hard, or frustrations arise, can have a profound effect on those around us.
Actions often speak louder than words, and our behaviors have the power to inspire and uplift others without saying a single thing.
By simply being kind, we can inspire others to do the same.
Small acts of kindness such as offering a helping hand, listening attentively, offering a genuine smile, or even keeping your cool with a salesperson can brighten someone’s day and inspire them to also be the good in the world.
So I invite you to think about how you treat the people around you. How do you speak to those you love? Do you treat a customer service call with kindness? How do you act when you interact with others?
I challenge you to pause and really think about what you’re going to say before you say it.
Because what you say really does matter.
Your actions and words have power to build someone up or tear others down.
Let’s all make the effort to build people up by what we say and do.
Choose to be kind, Choose to be encouraging, and choose to do your best to simply be a good person to others.
That’s really what the world needs most.