"Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue." - Zeno.
As I read this quote today, two instances splattered my mind suddenly.
I will narrate both the instances to you and you can then tell me what you make of it. What you choose to do!
A young friend of mine has anxiety issues and she was narrating an incident to me how during one of her anxiety episodes she reached out to her friend for comfort and wanting to meet her so that she didn't have to go through it alone. They were not in best of terms those days yet she reached out to her. The other friend heard her out and said the below exact words: "There are lakhs of people living / dying alone with anxiety. You're a grown up. You'll learn to manage." This young friend of mine took a long time to recover from those words. I don't think she has recovered, yet. I hope the other friend finds her healing too, to be able to say things better than that. I sincerely hope!
And then in that moment I recollected another instance.
A young boy in his early twenties doing his MBA had confidence issues. He had applied for many of those coveted committees/clubs in his B School but unfortunately wasn't able to clear any of those interviews. He just couldn't muster the courage to answer. Was a scared boy. Felt he would never be able to complete his course. A senior batch mate of his saw him upset and decided to speak to him. This boy was in tears and narrated the story. The senie placed his hands on his shoulders and told him "It's not the end of the world. Do not let this bog you down. You are much better than you think of yourself. We all are. We just have to believe in ourselves. You have my support for one year. If you want any support, you can always walk in to me and I promise to help you out." This boy is a Vice President today with an investment bank and a few years ago actually thanked that senior for helping him with those words that day.
The power of words is understated. We don't know who may need a comforting word. Who is battling inner demons. Who is hanging by a thread. The least we could be, despite any hardships, is be kind.
I have always tried my best, failed many times, but tried nevertheless to be careful with my words. Very recently, some one told me "How do you have the right words for the right time?" I have been told this by many people.
Honestly, I don't know how. But what I know is that I don't take it for granted. I ensure to not use my words lightly ever.
Words can make or break confidences. Not just of others. But our own confidences too.
Self-talk is one of the most critical aspects of our growth. What we tell ourself defines our actions, our habits and thereby our destinies.
Remember in your worst of moments, there could still be someone who may find comfort in you.
Positive words are multipliers. It passes on. In many ways, to help many people. To make days of people who need it.
Be an Enabler. Be Kind!