There is tremendous power in the words we speak. Oftentimes, when I have heard this statement my mind automatically, thinks of profundity. Impactful words and phrases that must be overtly complicated and well reasoned and filled with large concepts and words. My position presently is that some of the most powerful and influential words are in fact quite simple and straightforward. Think of things said to you that you still remember regardless of the days, months, years, and even decades, often it was something said sincerely and yet you completely understood the meaning. The impact has lasted a lifetime.
what would be some simple words I could include in my daily vocabulary?
- Hello. I have noticed how few people make eye contact with you as they pass by, even fewer say hello, good morning, or hi. I am not a social scientist so I do not know if this is because of the lack of civility in our world or just because we feel so disconnected from people around us. How about a simple greeting as you pass people. I have started consciously nodding my head and saying good morning as I pass people at the gym. A few respond, but many do not. I have nothing to lose and I plan on continuing this simple greeting regardless of the response I receive I feel better.
- Please. We all want people to respect us and we are hyper-vigilant about protecting our rights. I was required by my family to always say please. Little did I know that it was a life skill.
- Thank you. Coming out of the pandemic I heard someone say to a server in a restaurant “thank you for coming to work today.” I have borrowed this and have tweaked it a little and attempted to make sure that I show appreciation for those who are working and often are doing so shorthanded. Rather than complaining being our default position how about if gratitude were our default position throughout life.
- I’m sorry. How often these two words could change the atmosphere surrounding both conversation and the events of life. You do not have to always be right! This is especially true if you hold a leadership position. I am not only thinking of the boss at work but a spouse, parent, or friend. No one walks through life without a misspoken word or deed. It is best to own it and let folks know you are sorry and then carry it one step further and ask for forgiveness. It is quite important that you have a proper appraisal of yourself. When wrong honestly admit it and move on.
- I love you. My mother and grandmother were quite free to express their love for me. So I believe I had a headstart on this action. Notice that I have described a few words as an action. Rarely are our words the same as an action. The words ‘I love you do something in our spirit, it gives us worth regardless of how bad things may be in the world at the moment. Someone loves me. There are people who are quite uncomfortable when someone expresses love for them. Yet, I believe expressing love and appreciation is a tonic that can counteract the ugliness experienced in life.
- Forgive me. For some reason, this is a hard thing for most to say. To admit to being wrong is more than many can handle. Yet when we are wrong or our attitude is not the best, go ahead and ask forgiveness. Many believe this is a sign of weakness. Yet self-awareness and vulnerability are two attributes though in short supply and are appreciated by most people. Regardless of what others think, it is the right way to live.
- May I help you? If I pay attention there are ample opportunities to be of assistance to others. Someone today may very well need you to be a blessing in their lives. It is usually just something small, yet it makes a huge difference.
Applying a few small words is mostly a matter of paying attention or being in tune with the Holy Spirit. We may not be able to do enormous things or give away huge amounts of money, but we can show kindness and compassion and these small actions do make a difference.
One Thought to “A Few Simple Words”
Great reminders! On a recent trip, I said hello and smiled at a woman on the street. She kept walking, but turned around after a few steps, and said, “Well, hello,” and smiled. She was shocked, I think. And, I thought, as you stated, I need to do that all the time. I may be the only smile and greeting they receive today.