On the one hand a childhood saying “Sticks and bones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me” spouts a lie.
A wise person from the past wrote (Proverbs 12:25 NIV) “a kind word cheers a person up.”
Kinds words uttered softly and liltingly can unlock closed minds and soften hard hearts.
In a fable attributed to Aesop, the Sun and the North Wind enter into a contest to see who can get a passing traveler to remove his coat.
The North Wind blows furiously in an attempt to strip the coat from the man, but the effort backfires.
The man only wraps his coat around him even more tightly. Then the Sun gets a turn. In no time, the coat is off, thanks to the Sun’s gentle warmth.
Our kind words also accomplish what a verbal buffeting could never do.
Our words can heal; they can inspire; they can empower.
Mother Teresa purportedly said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”