“Actions speak louder than words.” There are those times when this is true. Showing someone you love them goes a lot farther than simply saying, “I love you.” But never underestimate the power of words. What you say, whether it is spoken or written, can alter the course of a conversation, a relationship and even someone’s behavior.
Words can stir every kind of emotion inside of us. They can take us on fantastical adventures or transport us to another place. They can build us up or tear us down. They can mend a broken heart or they can be the source of the damage in the first place. Make no mistake about it, there is power in words!
A number of years ago I remember reading an article about an experiment that was undertaken with plants. The experiment was conducted in which two groups of plants were spoken to by scientists each day. The first group of plants was spoken to with words of encouragement, love, and kindness. The second group of plants, as you might guess, were verbally abused day after day. After just a few weeks of this, the scientists began to notice a difference in the two groups. Group 1 plants were thriving, but the plants in Group 2 weren’t doing so well.
The experiment continued and, after a couple of months, most of the plants in Group 2 were dead. Now this wasn’t from lack of care.
Both groups of plants were watered and offered the same amount of sunlight and fertilizer as the other, the only difference was in the way the plants were spoken to. The plants in Group 1 went on to maturity and full health and even bore seeds and fruit, while Group 2 literally withered away and died.
It might be hard to believe, but if that is the effect words can have on plants, imagine the effect they can have on the people in your life. Or imagine the effect words you speak to yourself, that inner dialogue, have on you.
The English poet Rudyard Kipling once said, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
Are your words offering life or something else?