Why does it matter what you say?
Words have power. They can do harm, no matter what the old “sticks and stones” nursery rhyme tells us.
In my play, Mr. Long Said Nothing, the father of a young Kathrine Landers advises his daughter that “Once something is said, it can’t be unsaid, only forgiven.” Unfortunately, I have a tongue that gets me in trouble because I don’t always have a filter, especially when I’ve become emotional over an issue.
On the night before the 2016 presidential election, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me because I had endured a very hard day earlier, and I chose to reply to some hateful posts on Facebook with harmful words of my own. Instead of wielding the power of forgiveness and mercy, a power we all have at our disposal, I wielded the pain of cruel words aimed at people I love and cherish, just because we are on opposite side of some hot button issues.
Luckily for me, I was forgiven by those people after I reached out and apologized, but the fact remains that there may still be scars.
In some cases, it’s necessary to tell the cold, hard truth, but even then, it should always be done with tact. And sometimes the best avenue is simply silence.
Social media has created an opportunity for people to hide behind their computers and say things they normally wouldn’t to someone’s face. We need to ask ourselves, before we post something bravely while hidden behind our monitors or smart phones, whether or not it is something we would say in someone’s presence and if the words we have in mind are uplifting or harmful.
This week’s Positive Review: Your local fall festival
"The true worth of a race must be judged by the character of its womanhood." - Mary McLeod Bethune
What does it mean to be a good woman?
I am a man attempting to put into words what a good woman looks like. For this reason, I must tread oh so carefully. I was raised, primarily, by my mother. My sister was there too, and so I got to watch first hand as a young single mother modeled for me what a true, good, strong, and Godly woman looks like. She still does that to this day. So it is with that experience that I bring to you my idea of a good woman and the importance for the futures of our daughters and sons that these concepts carry.
With the society we live in, there is a wide spectrum of beliefs that make up what an individual conceives as ideals of a good woman. Mine will come from a Christian point of view.
For these seven ideals of womanhood, please have a listen to the episode.
"Real men don't love the most beautiful girl in the world, they love the girl who will make their world the most beautiful." - Unknown
How important is it to be a good man?
Modeling the ideal man you'd like your son to grow up to be and the type of man you'd like your daughter to marry is a daunting task. It takes thought and tenacity, but it can be done.
It's about setting a positive example.
Children frequently connect with those that exhibit behavior they're familiar with. They also tend to mimic the examples they've been shown. That's why abusive people often learned it from abusive parents.
Model these things and you've got a great start:
2. Good language and an easy temper
3. Quality time
4. Affection and appropriate physical touch
5. Words of affirmation
6. Service to others
7. Firm spiritual foundation
This week's Positive Review: The works of Nicholas Sparks
"Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being." - Albert Schweitzer
The main question:
How do I help others who have lost a loved one?
Death and loss is not an easy subject to handle for anyone. Unfortunately, sometimes we can make an uncomfortable situation even worse by not knowing the right things to do and say.
I want to help make those times easier for both you and the grieving by giving some examples of what NOT to do and say, followed by a suggestion of what you SHOULD do or say.
Remember these things:
DO be there for them, but DON’T “hover”. Give them their space unless they ask for you to insert yourself into their grieving process.
DON’T tell them you know what they’re going through, because you don’t. Even if you’ve experienced a similar event in your life, everyone handles things differently. DO simply and sincerely say, “I’m sorry.”
DON’T ask how you can help. Even though this may seem like the right thing to do, there is a better way to phrase it. Asking how you can help or “Is there anything I can do?” makes them have to either think of a way you can help, which they don’t need to have to do at the moment, or to tell you “no”. This can possibly close the door on you being able to help in the future when they may really need it, because they may not want to go back and ask for your help once they’ve told you no to worry about it. Instead DO say, “Let me know if there is anything at all I can do to help. This way you leave the door open and give them the time they need without any pressure. They will appreciate this.
DON’T talk and offer advice unless they ask for it. DO listen. Just be there for them.
DON’T forget about them. DO be available if they need you. One idea is to send a card that says, once again, how sorry you are for their loss and that you are there should there be anything at all they need. Then offer you phone number and email so that they can reach you.
DON’T talk down to them as if they will break. If it’s a child, this may not apply, as children need to be spoken to on a level they can understand. But for an adult dealing with loss, speaking to them like a child or as if they will break may be annoying. I know it would be to me. Even with old people, while it’s necessary to speak softly, have probably seen and heard more than we can imagine and the last thing they want is to be made to feel awkward. DO be authentic. Don’t wear a mask, but be the real you, while remaining sympathetic.
DON’T tell them everything is going to be alright. We may believe it will be, but in that moment, they may not feel that way. Instead, DO tell them you love them. Those words are the most powerful in any language and have healing effects.
When it comes to those times when we must help others along a tough road, it’s best to think carefully about the things we do and say. This list is a good start.
This week’s Positive Review: The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel