A brick is just a brick. It is not good. It is not bad. It just is. What you choose to do with a brick can change someone’s life forever. If you choose to throw that brick through someone’s living room window, it could strike someone, and seriously injure them. If you choose to use that brick to build a house, it could shelter someone, and provide them with a sense of security. A brick alone has no power. It’s just a brick. Put a human being behind it, and that brick becomes either a weapon of destruction, or a tool of construction 

A word is just a word. It is a neutral noun, verb, adjective or adverb, until a human being strings a few of them together and forms a sentence. And it only takes two words to form a sentence. Then there is potential to do great harm, or great healing. Words are so powerful. They can wound, debilitate, and even destroy the human spirit. Or they can encourage, empower, and breathe life into that same human spirit.  

Think of a time that someone said something to you that was hurtful in some way. Perhaps they spoke to you in a harsh tone, or their words to you were critical or demeaning. How did those words affect your thoughts, feelings, and behavior? Now think of a time that someone said something to you that was helpful in some way. Maybe they spoke gently to you when you needed a soft touch, or their words encouraged or empowered you somehow. How did you feel then? How were your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impacted? Don’t underestimate the power of your words. 

Hope whispers, speak kindly. 

It’s a tough world. There is a lot going on. Always has been. Always will be. Just watch the news for one day. As much as I wish we could all just get along, to borrow the phrase, that reality is highly unlikely. Not in this lifetime anyway. There is too much diversity in our DNA for that. While we might not be able to all get along right now, there is something we can do to shift toward that goal. 

We can choose to accept one another in spite of our differences. Acceptance doesn’t mean we agree. It’s a simple acknowledgement that there’s a difference between you and me. A difference of opinion, or beliefs, or values, or whatever. When we begin to accept one another in spite of our differences, rather than judging one another, something begins to happen deep within the human spirit. A subtle shift that manifests in ways we can actually experience; we notice that we are able to relax a bit; we breathe a little easier; we laugh more often. The fog of our own prejudice begins to lift and suddenly, we can see more clearly. We begin to realize that most people are just trying to do the best that they can with the hand they have been dealt in this life. We stop hating. We start loving. The greatest shift of all; we begin to speak a little kinder to one another and about one another. We start speaking words of life. And the healing begins. The Bible states that the power of death and life are in the tongue.

A word is just a word. What it becomes beyond that is up to you and me.