The following true story will show how a few simple words and change someone’s life forever!
One New Year’s Eve while mingling with other guests at a party, I noticed a young girl huddled in an armchair at the far corner of the room with an unmistakable expression of sadness on her face. “She could sure use some cheering up” I thought to myself and walked over to speak with her. We chatted casually for a while before I felt comfortable enough to ask her why she was so unhappy.
“I’m pregnant,” she confided. “My boyfriend left me, I don’t have a job or any money and I need to get an abortion so my parents won’t find out. I’m really scared.”
While my mind raced for the right things to say, I found myself marveling aloud at the pure innocence of a baby, its trusting, toothless smile, delicate fingers and toes and an unconditional love for its mother. I then reminded her that she has parents who love her and will be proud and thrilled to welcome their new grandchild once the initial shock wears off.
She listened intently to what I was saying then, smiling ever so brightly, she sprang to her feet to hug me. “Thank you!” she said. “What for?” I asked. “For making me want my baby!” she replied while gently caressing her tiny baby bump. “That’s wonderful! Glad I could help!” I said then gave her one last hug and wished her well before resuming the party in progress.
Two years later, we happened to cross paths at the mall. Over lunch, she brought me up to speed with news and wallet-sized photos of her pride and joy, a cute little fair-haired toddler!
On my drive home that day, I suddenly realized that I had actually saved a life, not due to some heroic feat, but with mere words and good intentions.
Today, many lives are being saved every day by a prominent surgeon whose live I saved with simple, but powerful words.
LIFE LESSON: WORDS HAVE ENORMOUS POWER
SO CHOOSE THEM WISELY BEFORE
Sometimes, people make thoughtless comments without any intent to hurt you. Instead of feeling hurt, you can choose to not allow the power of words make an impression on you.
As a youngster, Jana (not her real name) was once told that she would be cute if only her teeth weren’t so crooked. Jana is an adult now and to this day covers her mouth with her hand when she laughs or smiles because she is self-conscious about her teeth.
Yes, there are some folks who give themselves permission to make thoughtless comments to others without any regard as to the misery their words might cause someone. Now that you are aware of this, are you ever again going to take someone’s negative comments to heart only to replay them in your head for years to come as Jana is doing?
The simple solution to this is to just IGNORE upsetting comments as you hear them because thoughtless words can’t hurt you unless you let them!
This will be your test and your taste for personal power!
Let’s turn “failure” into a positive force. Here’s how you can make it work for you and still succeed:
Let it serve as a reminder as to how courageous you were to have tried something new in the first place.
Consider it as a “motivator” to encourage you to try harder, until you achieve what you set out to do.
Use it as a “deterrent” – a reason to question your choices, so you don’t repeat mistakes you’ve made!
LIFE LESSON: WHEN YOU’RE FEELING LIKE A FAILURE, REMEMBER THAT INVENTORS, PAINTERS, EXPLORERS, ETC., ALL BEGAN THEIR JOURNEY TOWARDS SUCCESS WITH A FIRST STEP INTO THE UNKNOWN. JUST KEEP ON TRYING AND YOU’LL EVENTUALLY SUCCEED.
One Christmas Eve, I rushed out to the mall for some last-minute shopping. At the far end of the parking lot, I encountered a vehicle turning into the same spot I was turning into, but from the opposite side. The driver of the other car honked his horn several times, flickered his headlights and waved me away, leaving me no choice but to retreat because I was not about to argue with a stranger in a dimly-lit parking lot. I then backed out and drove around the lot to look for another spot. To my delight, I came across a parking space directly in front of the mall entrance. I smiled to myself thinking that, in a small way, life smiled on me that day because the day ended in a WIN/WIN situation…the man got the spot he wanted, but I got PRIME PARKING…thanks to him!
LIFE LESSON: LIFE DOES, AT TIMES, HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR!
“NO” is a tiny word, yet so hard for some of us to say. Why is that? It’s because we don’t want to alienate folks by appearing uncaring at a time when they need us. So what do we do? We agree to their request and accommodate them when we really don’t want to, then resent those very same folks for putting us in a position of ‘doing’ for them simply because we do not know how to say NO! It’s not their fault…they just asked…and we answered and if we were not honest in our response, we have only ourselves to blame.
My advice to you, for the time being, is to follow your heart when asked to do something for someone while keeping in mind that when you say NO to someone, you’re saying YES to yourself.
LIFE LESSON: IT’S NICE TO BE KIND TO OTHERS BUT DON’T FORGET TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF ON OCCASION.
What should you do when you find out that tongues are ‘wagging’ about you? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING…because when you confront gossipers, most likely they will deny spreading rumors about you and you might add fuel to the fire with your own denials. Bear in mind that ‘loose lips’ have either nothing better to do with their time, feel righteous, are envious of you in some way, or simply want to appear more interesting when conversing with others. Besides, almost everyone knows who the gossipers are on the street where you live. They also know you for who you are and will only regard the idle gossip as short-term entertainment. If you make a big deal about it, you’ll end up putting questions into people’s minds (is it true what they’re saying?) and then you’ll have more folks on board speading the gossip and that’s what you want to avoid!
It could also happen that someone you’ve known for years believes the gossip going around about you and turns on you without saying why. If that ever happens, don’t fret about it. Simply forget about it and move on. There’s nothing you can do about it and, if you ever renew your friendship with that individual, your relationship will never be the same because he/she has lost your trust!
LIFE LESSON: WHEN FOLKS GOSSIP, IGNORE WHAT IS BEING SAID ABOUT YOU. IF THERE IS NO REACTION FROM YOU, THEY WILL FOCUS ON SOMEBODY ELSE.
Are you living in the present or stuck in the past?
Our past makes us who we are today. Be grateful for all the good that comes your way, and view hurtful experiences as EXCITING occasions to LEARN and to GROW! When misunderstandings occur, take a few moments to reflect on any part you may have played in the scenario because like it or not, someone might have misconstrued what you said or did even though you had the best of intentions…then formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again.
The one thing you must NEVER DO is to dwell on past hurts, because when you think or talk about what someone said or did to you 30 or 40 years ago, it keeps you stuck in the past and causes you to RELIVE the unhappiness over and over, which really solves nothing and makes you sad. You can only learn from the past but one thing’s for sure…YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT! Focus, instead, on the good times and the many meaningful moments you share with loved ones. The following is a wonderful adage which reminds me to live in TODAY:
LIFE LESSON: “YESTERDAY’S BREAD IS STALE… TOMORROW’S BREAD IS NOT YET BAKED… SO LET’S EAT TODAY’S BREAD! (author unknown)”