Words are powerful things. There are lots of great quotes about this…
The pen is mightier than the sword.”
“Loose lips sink ships”
“If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”
Importantly, as powerful, dangerous and funny as words can be, they can also be a source of encouragement and warmth.
Thinking on this topic, I was reminded of a compliment I got at a job interview in 1995. Yes, 15 years ago.
It happened to be an interview for a part-time, low-level position with a pretty high-profile guy, but he told me “I like your style.” I can’t tell you how many times I have repeated this story, and how much I have looked back on that moment and reveled in it. I am sure he has no idea what an impression he made on me. (I didn’t even take the job.)
If such a small, ambiguous compliment can stick with me for so long, think about how I would feel if I’d had “You won’t fit in.” echoing in my head for 15 years.
Treating each other carefully is simply the humane thing to do. It starts with polite conversation.You have a choice. You can decide to make someone’s day with your words. You might even make their decade.
Thank you for reading.