Lastnight I stood in line at a take out restaurant waiting for my Chinese food. A Mother and three children under the age of seven were in line in front of me. The children behaved very well, were mostly patient, and they listened to and obeyed their Mom. They ordered then I ordered, They picked up their food and then I picked up my food. I stood next to Mom as we were gathering utensils and napkins, and I leaned over and told her how impressed I was at how well behaved her children were in line. She was surprised, thanked me, and started to tear up. She then told me the story that their house was for sale and this was the sixth night in a row that they had to eat out while the house was being shown. She shared that she was having a hard time with it all and it meant a great deal to her to hear a compliment about her children.
As I drove back to my hotel I was reminded of how much we all need to hear words of confirmation and appreciation for our efforts. I didn’t realize that my compliment would bring the Mom to tears, obviously I hit a nerve and she needed the kindness. My small interaction seemed to help her feel better about the situation she found her self living through with her children, and it meant a great deal to her that someone noticed all her hard work AND how her children were handling the chaos.
No matter who they are or how strong they appear, everyone needs to hear words of kindness and affirmation about themselves and what is important to them. Hard work can appear to go unnoticed until something goes wrong. Words have the ability to uplift and encourage anyone when they are given for no other reason than to acknowledge a person’s efforts. There is great power and healing in what we choose to let come out of our mouth. We can tear people down or choose to build them up, and that choice is made many times in the instant before the words come out of our mouth.
Today as you see someone doing the right thing, doing something well, doing a good job, release the power of your words and let them know you noticed. Your simple act of kindness may be what helps them keep going and encourages them to keep the faith. Words don’t cost anything and yet they have the ability to invest in people. Take time today to give your words of kindness away and change things simply because you can.