Be Careful With The Words You Use

Be Careful With The Words You Use

They are much more powerful than we give them credit for.
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I sat in the parking lot as the rain poured over my car. In the safety of my blacked-out SUV, I sobbed. "This isn't like me at all," I thought "letting people's words affect me so much is ridiculous!" My mind replayed the entire scene back to me, the rude comment my director said to me in front of the entire class, the laughter he directed toward me around 20 minutes later, the face of the student next to me, though I couldn't tell if the student's reaction was towards me or how the director was acting.

Words are much more powerful than we give them credit for. Proverbs 16:4 "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. " Whether or not you agree with the Bible, there is undeniable evidence of this in real life.

One day I was having a conversation with some women about healthy eating. I explained that occasionally I will forget to eat lunch. With a dumbfounded look on her face, one of the women asked: “Well if that’s true, why aren’t you skinnier?” Her words bore a hole into my core as dark thoughts circled in my head. Thoughts of not being good enough, that the only ones who are worthy are those who are smaller than me. Past regrets came flooding back, memories of days spent not eating washed over me. Honestly, I do not think that the woman meant her comment in a vindictive way, but that’s how powerful her words were.

On another occasion, I was taking a difficult music class in which the professor was, for lack of better words, a hard-ass. He was strict on absences and homework. There were weekly quizzes and hardcore exams. After one of our quizzes, I distinctly remember him thanking myself and a fellow classmate for singing the piece with musicianship. I was shocked by the compliment because they were rare to come by. His words of encouragement have stuck with me to this day.

My absolutely favorite professor said something that I hope I never forget: "Invest deeply, hold loosely." I can’t tell you how many times I heard him say it, but I can tell you that it has been a great reminder for me in various situations. He wasn’t the most endearing professor, in fact, at one point he gave me all the tough love possible and questioned if I was able to deal with being a music major. His words pushed me towards better things and I am a better person because of what he said.

Words can either build up or demolish and while we do not have control over how others take what we say, it is important to be aware of the words we use. In every moment, my hope is to build others up, to encourage them to do better, to use the power of my words for good.

Cover Image Credit: Hai Phung

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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House Hunting At Its Finest

It's incredibly stressful and takes way too long!

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House hunting is hard. I thought at first it would be fun, exciting, and interesting. But now, I'm tired and bored and just want to give up.

I've been looking for a house for a month now and I knew it going in to it, it would take a while. I knew that I wouldn't just walk into the first house and be like, "this is it, this is the one".

But, when you look at 6-10 houses every time you search a day, it gets stressful and tiring.

When I started looking at houses it was because I was planning on getting a house with some friends to rent out for the next 3 years while at UCF. All because I didn't get a spot-on campus with the lottery, I got waitlisted. So, I need to look for housing to secure a place to live next fall.

Now, my dad wants to turn it into a small business. Buy a house, rent out the rooms for a reasonable price, cheaper than some apartments, and make a profit.

It sounds like a good plan.

But then you have to factor in: location and how far it is from campus, the price range in which you could make a profit, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the price per square inch, the property taxes, if the house needs work or not, upgrades, improvement, parking availability, etc. The list just goes on and on.

It's hard to find the "perfect" house.

I want to be able to make it "home" for the next 3 years. I want to make it somewhere where I can hang out, have friends over, and love to live in.

Every time I walk into a new house, I automatically think, "what would I do to this room? Or that?". I think of furniture and décor. I think about how I would design it and make it ours.

I even made a Pinterest board, one for home décor and one for bedrooms.

I feel like I'm going overboard but I can't help it.

I get excited when it comes to the designing aspect, but my parents have to be so nit-picky. They came up over the weekend to search for houses with me and every time we walk into a house I hear: "the carpet is stained, needs to be removed", "the kitchen is outdated, needs to be upgraded", "the bathroom needs work", "the wall has a hole", "not enough bathrooms" and so much more.

It's not like I don't chime in with comments either.

I do put in a fair share of my personal opinions about the quality of the houses too.

But, at this point I wish we could just settle on something. Again, I know this takes time but I just get anxious.

So, we are going into the 5thweek and still haven't agreed on a house. My mom has her picks, my dad has his, and I have mine. And none of them overlap. Frankly, I don't get a "say" in what my parents chose since they will be purchasing the house. But, I get to live in it, my friends are the ones who will be paying them rent. So, I feel like my opinion matters. Whenever I ask questions or give input, they talk over me.

As if, I wasn't even there!

Yet, that is how the ball rolled. Wow, I'm borderline whining over here. It's not like I'm not grateful but, I wish I was valued as an adult helping in this situation.

Well thank you for coming to my "TED" talk! And reading about yet another annoying and trivial struggle of mine. I'll write again soon.

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