In a world obsessed with being heard we find ourselves surrounded by multiple streams of communication every waking moment. The bombardment of words into our mind is nonstop. Written, spoken, or sung we are encircled by words. They express our thoughts and feelings and impact our behavior.
When used poorly, words can destroy their intended target. When used well they bring healing to the wounded soul. There is an ancient proverb, which says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
In the modern-day war of words, the arsenal of weapons at the fingertips of people today is so abundant there may not be a word to describe the destructive power available to the masses. With a few taps on a smartphone words are sent into the ether to encircle the globe instantaneously.
Jonathan Swift wrote in 1710, “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.” I can only wonder what Swift would have thought about the speed of words 300 years later.
“With great power comes great responsibility,” to quote Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, who borrowed those words from Voltaire. Yet, each day, we seem to level up in our gamesmanship of how to destroy our neighbor with our words.
The English language has over 170,000 words, yet, on average we typically use about 5,000 when we speak and about double that in our writing. Is it just me, or could the world benefit from the sweet healing balm of a few simple words?
There are three modest words, when used with sincerity, have the power to bring change and healing. They are not the only words, which bring healing, but they are a place to begin. Mastering these simple words opens a treasury of other words to promote change, healing, and engagement.
To quote Dr. Bernadine Healy, a pioneer at the National Institutes of Health, who had a sign on her desk which read, “Strong Verbs, Short Sentences”. I could not agree more when it comes to these powerful three words.
The three words…I appreciate you.
Dr. Stephen Covey wrote, “Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.”
It might be a bold use of words to say, “Now more than ever,” but I do believe we are in a desperate need of expressing our genuine appreciation for those around us. If you start here, these simple words can take you to new destinations of…well, appreciation.
The possibilities are endless. What may surprise you the most is the greatest impact which will occur…may be with you.