Are You A Mentor, Cheerleader or Destroyer?

If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. Ah… a mother’s wisdom. I’m sure most of us have been told this many, many times. But, how many of us actually follow this sage advice?

Communication is a powerful force and the effects of negative words cannot be underestimated. Words are remembered long after they are written or spoken. They have the power to destroy one’s self-esteem and self-confidence, making someone feel less than adequate and fearful. Words leave invisible bruises that can last a lifetime.

Most of us understand that negative words hurt, and yet, how many of us actually stop and think BEFORE writing or speaking a negative or disparaging comment? Do we ever think about the impact our message has on the recipient or is it so important for our opinion to be heard that the consequences are insignificant to us?

At one time we needed to be mindful of holding our tongue. Today, social media has provided a platform for anyone to voice an opinion. But, this medium has removed our humanity. One does not have to look into another’s eyes when making a hurtful statement or watch someone cry. We have the ability to strike a few keys and hit send. We can hide behind our keyboard or screen.

With that ability comes tremendous responsibility!

I encourage you to become more cognizant of what you write or say. Stop and think BEFORE the words come out. You have the power to impact another positively or negatively. You have the power to be a mentor or cheerleader of a another, or the destroyer. Remember, mother knows best and if you have nothing nice to say, pray one of my favorite prayers: “Lord, put your arm on my shoulder and your hand over my mouth,” or in today’s world, hold my hands!

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