Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Power of Words

[Brought to you by the weekly SS Blog Challenge:
Words can be powerful. Think of an occasion when someone blessed you with their words. (Conversely, words can be powerfully hurtful, too. Write about one of those instances if you must, but try to think of a positive memory instead.) Describe the circumstances surrounding the words that were powerful to you. Who said it? How did you react? How does it affect you today?]

Words are powerful things. They can boost, they can crush. They can titillate, stimulate, irritate, motivate and a multitude of other 'ates'. This challenge reminds me of a poem I once read.

A Choice of Weapons
(Phyllis McGinley)

Sticks and stones
Are hard on bones,
Armed with angry art,
Words can sting
Like anything,
But silence breaks the heart.

Some of the words that have had the most impact on my life were bits of advice given to me in my younger years by older, and infinitely wiser, friends.

The first ...
Buddy Deane once told me there are two things a person should never, ever say unless they truly mean them. 1) I love you. 2) I want a divorce. I've had men tell me the former when I knew it wasn't true and it deflated my opinion of them. My Mom was married before my Dad and her husband told her the latter every time they argued. She finally got tired of hearing it and agreed. I agree with Bud. Never say either of these unless they are meant.

The second ...
When I was debating leaving my job at the bank to become a stay-at-home Mom. I wanted to do it, but giving up the security and seniority of that job was daunting. I was talking this over with Mabel, one of our CSRs. She told me, "You are a very valued employee of this bank. They trust you, they rely on you, they need you. But they can replace you. And, if you leave here, in five years half the people here won't even remember who you were. But you will be known the rest of your life for the kind of kids that you raise." And she was right. I go in the place now and don't know most of the employees I meet. And the ones that matter to me, I still see. But every day now I am doing a job that's more rewarding and has more long-term benefits than anything I could have done there, even if I had been the president of the place. And I love it.

No comments: