Words are powerful. When spoken with intention they can lift you up or crush your spirit. The problem is that many of us speak without thinking, especially in the heat of the moment, and unfortunately words that cannot be unsaid can last a lifetime.
The words of others have helped to shape who we are, how we think, how we view the world, and more importantly how we see ourselves. But what if the view we have been given isn’t accurate?
Often these embedded thoughts have been spoken through filters of other people’s views, projecting their insecurities, weaknesses and anger on to us.
One of the most powerful statements I have heard spoken is “Mean people hurt”.
It holds a double meaning and a vicious circle effect. Those who are angry towards others do hurt them through their words and actions, but they have also been hurt and are hurting or they would not feel the need to lash out.
Choosing to live consciously, pause and think before speaking and break that repetitive destructive cycle is the only way free.
This little story “The Fence” is one of the most poignant illustrations I have ever come across and I wanted to share it with you.
“There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.
When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.” You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.” – Author Unknown
Treat others as you yourself would like and expect to be treated. It will come back to you either way.
Originally Published: Alberta Street News – “Back on Track” Column, Sarah J. Barendse