As kids, we imagined ourselves as superheroes. We would play with our friends and battle each other. We wanted to be faster than speeding bullets, leap tall buildings…have cool utility belts. But reality sets in, our superhero dreams fade and we realize that we are just normal human beings. No power of invisibility…no super human strength.
Today’s daily prompt is about the “Ring of Fire.” But, I wanted to write about a different ring of fire…our mouths.
We don’t have these superhuman abilities but we do have a power than can build up and tear someone down. We have the power to make a person smile or hate us for a lifetime. This power is held by our mouths. Do you remember this phrase?
“Sticks and stones may break my bones…but names will never hurt me.”
Not true. I bet every person can remember a time that someone hurt them deeply with their words. They stay implanted in our brains and bring back feelings of anger and pain. The fact that you can remember these words is proof alone that they have left a scar on your heart.
Now remember the first time someone said, “I love you.” How did that feel? What feelings are brought into your mind? Maybe it was your junior high crush who said this…maybe your child said it to you…or maybe you were the first one to say it…how did that feel to release that feeling to someone?
Our loved ones have the power to affect us with words all the time…but what about people you barely know? My job gives me the opportunity to have hundreds of conversations a day with people. I heard this conversation the other day:
“Excuse me you need to watch your kid…she almost hit me with shopping cart.”
The mother replied, “I’m sorry, I am sure my child did not mean to.”
“Well, she probably didn’t mean to…but maybe if you watched her better you would have stopped her.”
Mommy was not happy. “Well, I apologize that my three year old was not totally aware of every single person’s personal space…she is an exceptionally rude three year old.”
The first person walked away and said, “Now I see where she gets her rudeness.”
The little three year old girl was watching the whole time…she watched her mom yell…and the other person yell. And at the end of the angry discussion, tears started to flood her cheeks.
This little girl probably didn’t know what was being said…or understood what was behind it. All she saw was her mom and another person speaking fire to each other. And it affected her. Her mom saw she was crying and said this:
“What? Why are you crying? Stop right now…we don’t cry…especially in public.” And she tugged her arm and dragged her away.
Look at that simple 3 minute conversation. How many people were affected by another person’s mouth? The mom…the other person…the little girl….and every person who saw it, including me.
Every day I drop off my little one at school. I give her a hug goodbye and tell her to have a great day. And I look around and watch other parents do it…and one day I saw this:
“Ok, honey, you have a great day ok. Don’t worry about last night’s homework…we will work on it together…don’t be discouraged…you are smart ok buddy? You can do anything….anything.” The mom hugged her child and walked away. And the kid just stood there and watched his mom walk away, she turned and disappeared around a corner. But, the boy was still there smiling and looking off into the distance. Look at the way the words affected him, he was reassured…he was reaffirmed…he felt special. He skipped into class.
I am a big cheerleader. I use the phrase “you are awesome” a million times a day. I grew up with a father who didn’t care…who spit fire every time he talked…who used his words and his actions to hurt me. So, I understand the importance of praising someone. What if a random person came up to you and said this, “Hey…don’t forget…you are a tiger…a tiger..now go get ’em.” Yes, it’s ridiculous…and funny. But, try it on someone…see what happens.
And if you read this….you are awesome.
Here’s where that blog title came from…I’m sure you know this song already. So feel free to get down with your bad self.