“He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself from calamity.”
I was never the outdoorsy type, but there were things about the outdoors that I cherished as a child…trees, mud puddles, clouds, acorns, butterflies, lightning bugs, and dandelions. I loved the dandelions when they were puffy and white! I would feverishly pluck as many out of the ground as I could and make a bouquet that resembled a huge snowball. With all my might, I would make a wish and blow the seeds. The seeds would scatter and travel on the wings of the wind. Indeed, it was a breathtaking sight!
I had a cousin that always broke the rules. She did what everyone else was doing, but she had to do it just a little bit differently. One day she picked a dandelion, got right up in my face, and blew hard enough that the stem was rendered naked in an instant. Just like that, the seeds were tickling my nose, coating my tongue, and scratching my eyes. I was so mad that I pushed her down on the ground. She laughed and I cried.
As I recall this moment with my cousin, I think about how the seeds could be compared to words. I love to talk to people. As much as I try to use my words to love, encourage, and build up, I realize I make grave mistakes at times. No doubt, I have made someone cry over my words. I’m sure that I have made someone feel inadequate because of my words. I am often sassy or sharp with my answers. Sometimes, people might even be able to tell that I’d rather not be talking to them at all because of the emptiness of my words. I have the power to keep my thoughts to myself or verbalize them. When I verbalize them, they become as the seed of a dandelion–spreading out to be a positive force or invading the calm that someone else was perfectly content with.
Every day is an opportunity for me to put a smile on someone’s face. Every hour is a chance for me to heal a broken heart. Every minute is the right time to touch the life of someone else…with my words. Words matter to other people in a hugely critical way. May my words be few and may the words that I do speak be as gold to the one receiving them.