Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kind words


image: farm4.static.flickr.com

Have you ever thought of how we became the way we are?

I think we are shaped by our experiences, and what surrounds us. True enough there are some personality traits that were given to us that we can't ignore, but our perception, and the way we see things can change according to what we were surrounded with.

For example, a child who has been abused (verbally and physically) her whole life, will definitely see the world in a completely different way than a child nurtured with encouragement and love(this doesn't mean that you should spoil your child). This is also why, abused child will either become an abuser themselves, or they will turn a 180 and become a protector. Either way, I think we can agree that in general, people will be shaped by what surround them, and who the come in contact with. Very much like Mitch Albom's 5 People You Meet In Heaven.

I bet you have seen cases where the naughtiest kid in a class is given the responsibility to become a prefect. My mother is an educator, and she explained this to me. Such kind of act is called indirect encouragement. Usually kids becomes naughty because they unconsciously think that that is what's expected of them, and they are only worthy of being reprimanded, instead of being encouraged. So when they are told off again and again, they will feel like they are being pushed away, and they will react by behaving even more badly.

On the other hand, when the same kid is treated with kindness and encouragement, they will feel that they are being trusted, and their self-worth will increase and thus making them react to it by behaving better.

Whether we notice it or not, we also react the same way to both encouragement and discouragement.

I'll give you an example with issues that is closest to home for me. Hijab. Have you seen articles/discussion on the internet condemning people who are not covering their aurat perfectly? These articles/discussion attacking them are usually written with a cringe worthy crude and offensive words, which is a great irony because these people are preaching and acting all holier than thou, you know, all i'm-doing-this-in-the-name-of-my-religion kind of thing, and yet they say hurtful and spiteful things that do not reflect their religions. Some even went so far as to add "aku bukan nak nasihat pun, aku cuma nak kutuk je", and make you kinda go "what is th.. i don't even..what are yo... oh nevermind".

What I don't understand is how they think that spiteful words will benefit anyone, rather than to satisfy their own inner demon, what if those spiteful words they say leave a permanent scar to someone, which causes them to sink further into the darkness making them incapable of changing for the better? Are any of them ready to take the responsibility of that? Wouldn't it have been easier to say some encouraging words, or a kind reminder spoken in private, instead of publicly humiliating someone? Wouldn't it bring a better outcome? True, that we must reject any act of sins, but it means that we must reject the sin, and not the sinners. After all who are we to judge?

I myself get a little bit lost from time to time, and I think I have been really blessed to not be surrounded with the judgemental sort.

Today, I checked my formspring, and realized 4 months too late that I'm even more blessed than that. Someone left me a really really kind word, which left a big impact on me.



To the stranger above, although I believe that I am not worthy to be sung such praises, I thank you so much for your kind words. You have no idea how much that means to me. :)

So dear readers, I think I have established, how strong the impact of our words is. It can make people happy, peaceful, encouraged, assured, feel blessed and grateful. But if you choose, it can also make people feel the complete opposite of that.

So, say a kind word today, instead of condemning.
Encourage instead of Discouraging.
Empower instead of belittling.

You just may never know how much the words you say, or write can effect a person's life.

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