Words. They can either uplift you or crush you.
It’ so interesting how easy it is for us to not recognise how powerful words are. We fail to identify the repercussions of our choice of words.
Let me tell you a story of a young girl called Leah whom I met at the Purpose Workshop that Accelus ran at Servite College. During the first module of our workshop, we asked students to create a superhero of themselves; displaying the unique giftings that we have individually been blessed with. Leah sat on a table with a friend of hers far away from many of her classmates so I walked up to them, striked up a conversation and asked them about their drawings. I had a look at Leah’s and it was blank. I was shocked. I asked her why and she said that she didn’t know how to display her giftings because in her eyes, they “were not good enough of giftings”. I asked her to show me her list of gifts and when she did, I was shown a beautiful list of characteristics. Just to name a few, it included words such as loyal, caring, reliable and supportive. I then felt promoted to ask this question, “how do you view yourself?” which Leah responded with, “I view myself as a disappointment”. My heart sank immediately and experienced a great deal of heartache when those six words was said. She then went on to tell me that she views herself in this particular way because her parents tell her so. After chatting more, I soon found out that a reason why her parents view Leah in this way is because she has not been fulfilling the academic expectations that have been placed upon her. It became evident to me just how low- spirited and broken this girl was and immediately knew that I had to help speak some life into her as an attempt to encourage and lift up her spirit.
Zoe, who sat next to Leah was a close friend of hers. I asked Zoe to tell me the things that she loves about Leah and when I did so, Zoe’s eye lit up and immediately started telling me. What a beautiful sight it was for me to witness a young girl speaking so fondly of her friend – she literally could not stop raving about Leah! After Zoe finished up, I told Leah that yes, we are told to respect our parents and honour them however, how they view you should not define you because that is not who you are! I continued to tell her that she is NOT a disappointment but she is so loved and valued which was so evident through what Zoe shared. I then told her the gifts that she has been blessed with are so unique and special to her that if she thought everyone else in this world had those gifts, she was far from being right because it is such a lie. I encouraged Leah to claim ownership of her gifts because they are hers and to have them speak over her life.
After this chat with Leah, it was evident how her spirit had been lifted. There was this confidence that was not there before and it just blew me by surprise how it only took a few words. It’s so scary to think that there are so many people out there who are just like Leah, never having anyone speak words of life into them.
Words are very powerful. They have the ability to edify and build up people. It’s something that all of us have the ability of using and I want to encourage you guys with this “Words can inspire and words can destroy, choose yours well” – Robin Sharma
Why don’t we all take up the privilege of using words to build up those around us. You just never know, a few words can potentially change the life of a person. Let’s not miss that chance.
Written by Denise Wan.