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A cartoon depicts a woman shaking hands with her clergyman as she leaves the church. The caption says, "Thank you for the sermon. It was like water to a drowning man." Some compliments are better left unsaid....
Isn't it true that words carry with them immense power? Power to build up and power to tear down. Such was the case with the words of Mandy (not her real name), a woman who learned that there is no wrong time to say the right thing.
It was a cold, rainy day in March. Across the room in the retail store where Mandy worked, sat Laura, a woman about Mandy's age. Other workers did not like Laura; they thought of her as snobbish and aloof. And Mandy agreed.
But sweeping the bias from her eyes, she made up her mind to say something kind to Laura. Finally, she managed, "Do you know, Laura, that I've worked in this room with you for several years. And whenever I glance up I see your head silhouetted against the window there behind you. I think you have the prettiest profile and hair that I have ever seen on anybody." Her words were not insincere flattery. She meant it.
Laura looked up and began to cry. "That's the first kind word anybody has ever said to me in all the time I've worked here," she said.
Mandy discovered that Laura's aloofness was not due to snobbishness, but shyness. The two became friends. Other workers soon began to include Laura in their activities, and she blossomed like a flower that, for the first time, found sunlight. The right words, spoken in kindness, made all the difference.
Words carry the potential to tear down or to build up. But when they are both sincere and kind, they are instruments that wield great power. Never underestimate the potential and power of your words.
There is no wrong time to say the right thing. And there is no better time than now.
-- Steve Goodier
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