Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When Words Fail

Words are art. They can be beautiful, elegant, inspiring, and powerful. Words, spoken or written, can be used to lift people up, inspire them to do great things, and change lives forever for the good. To everything though, there is 2 sides. Words can also bring destruction, pain, hurt, anger, and hatred. They can be used to tear down another person, belittle someone else, spread hatred and anger. 

Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes we use words in anger that we would not normally use, and we can cause unintended damage with those words. Words spoken in anger are often spoken without thought of the power or direction of said words. Therein lies the problem: "Spoken without thought of the power or direction".

Be it our spouses, parents, siblings, or our children, words spoken in anger without thought can often be the most damaging. We always want to speak words of truth and speak them in love. Whether it is telling someone we love them, that they have done a great job with something; or on the other side of the spectrum with disciplining our children and confronting problems within the home. Sometimes though, words can fail. After such a time we are left with the bill for the damage they have caused, and it is a tough bill to pay.

My words have failed before. Words spoken in anger and frustration have been my downfall many times in the past. I have hurt people I would never want to hurt. I have brought tears to eyes that should have remained dry, clear, and just as beautiful as they ever were. I have seen the looks on my children's face when Daddy has failed to speak in a loving manner and spoke out of frustration.

The enlightenment of it all comes from knowing how to keep our words from failing. There is truth in knowing the power of the words we speak and that the power has a balance that must be maintained. When words fail, we fail. We not only fail ourselves but we fail those the words took aim at. Words are an art. Words are a power. Words can inspire, and they can destroy. In the words of the great Samuel Clemens: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

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