Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa
What does that mean?
Hello. Thank you. That’s nice. I’m happy for you. You’re welcome. All these are kind words, as are many others. It costs you next to nothing to share such kindness with another person.
If you have been using them regularly for any length of time, you know what impact they can have on others. If you have had them used on you recently, you know how the ripples can spread through your life and into the lives of others.
And each kind word starts it’s own ripple. The person saying it to you, you saying it to someone else, them saying it to yet another person. Each kind word has its own ripple, and they can go on for quite a while.
Why are kind words important?
How do kind words impact others? And how do unkind words impact others? While both may produce ripples, only one helps people and assists them in finding and living as their best possible selves. And only one helps you be a better person, a kinder and happier person. Which one is which? I imagine you can answer that question.
Kind words, whether spoken or heard, have an impact on us, and on how we think and act. It affects our mood, or attitude and the rest of our emotions. There are reports that it even impacts our brain chemistry. Consider that for a moment. What you say, and what you listen to, impacts you both emotionally and also physically.
And the same thing happens to the people to whom you speak. Do you wish to cause them harm? Yes, in a moment of anger, we might say something unkind, but in the long run, is there really anyone we so dislike that you would poison our own emotions and our own brain by pouring unkind words out onto them? I can’t think of anyone, can you?
Where can I apply this in my life?
Kind word compared to unkind words. Yes, an unkind word can bring a momentary happy feeling to you, as you give them a piece of your mind, something they obviously deserve, right? But how do you feel after you have said those words? How do you feel for the rest of the day? How do they feel for the rest of the day?
Consider how, inside you, the difference between a kind word and an unkind word feels. Think of someone you think might have ‘earned’ an unkind word, and say it in your head, directed at them. For a moment it feels good, doesn’t it? You said it, and it’s out there. You told them, didn’t you?
But what have you done to your emotions? What have you done to your brain? What have you done to your standards? What have you done to your habits? What have you done to your character? Is this who you really are? Is this who you want to be, who you want to be remembered as for the rest of your life?
It really is that important. Not that any one unkind word will damn you to a quick decline, but each one has weight. Over time, it will have an impact on you, your habits and your character. I imagine we all know someone who is perpetually unhappy, and more than willing to share that unhappiness with anyone within earshot.
Is that a future you aspire to? Or would you like to be a little kinder? Just remember that we are human, emotional creatures, and prone to little outbursts from time to time. We just need to remember to make amends after things have cooled down. And redouble our efforts to be kind going forward, right?
So how do we find more kind things to say? We can always start small and work our way up. Smile. True, it’s not technically a word, but it imparts a similar emotional response in another person, and can help their day seem a little more bearable. Have you ever had that happen to you? I know it’s helped me before.
From there, we can work up to saying “Hi.” or “Nice day, isn’t it?”, at first to friends, then to acquaintances and strangers. We can also practice on ourselves. Have you ever looked in the mirror and had an unkind word for the reflection therein? Perhaps it was deserved, but it’s a bad habit to get into, right?
With every person we meet, with every encounter, we have a choice. A kind word, or an unkind one. Being nice, or being something else. We can choose to embrace kindness and kind words, or reject it. It is our life and our choice, but that choice does impact others, both emotionally and physically. Please take your time, and choose wisely, for everyone’s sake.