Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Power of Words.

Brad, Steve Sunday and Me.  
Steve Sunday is one of the greatest examples of "building" I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
I will be writing more about him this coming week.

This past Thursday I walked into my LDS Stake Center to visit with one of the Stake Presidency members to renew my temple recommend.   This is normally a nice peaceful place to be but not this time.   From the moment I walked in and then sat down I was being talked about by a cute little girl who was probably 5.  She was talking to her brother who older than she.   They were calling me "ugly".   "She is uuugly!"    How nice....I just ignored them.    The Mother got after the little girl a couple of time but was too busy with her phone to do much.   By the time they were ready to leave they were being loud about  how ugly I was and all 5 children were laughing about it.   It was not my favorite visit to the stake center.   It was very uncomfortable to say the least.   I felt a little shaken by the experience.   I know what I would have done if my child (or children) were acting this way...they would have been taken to another room and given a good talking to and made to go out and apologize.  

I guess this Mom and I think very differently.  

This experience didn't make me cry or anything like that but it left me wondering what they saw in me that was so repulsive.   I kept thinking about all of those quotes you hear about how children speak truth.   That evening it kind of stuck in my head but then I posted about it on facebook and got it "out" of my head.   It hasn't bothered me since.  

The next morning I woke up and got my kids to school and then checked my email and facebook accounts.   To my surprise I found many wonderful comments from friends sharing sweet and loving words with me.    This time I did cry but it was a good little teary moment.   I felt so much love  from these friends.   Some of them were people I grew up with and others are friends I met after moving into our house 5 years ago while others are recent friends.    
What a blessing to have loving friends to lift you just when you need a lift.   

My Stake Relief Society President post this:
"Brenda, I agree with Kindra that all children don't speak truth and the reasons she listed as why. What I can share with certainty is that all the women who have posted before me have indeed spoken truth. If there is any question in your mind, think about the spirit you felt when it happened and compare it to the spirit you and all of us have felt in reading all the lovely comments found here. We are told that the Holy Ghost will speak truth to our heart and our mind and will bring peace. That is where truth is found."
 
I have pondered this thought and she is completely correct.   There was a certain feeling while I was in with the children who had such nice things to say.   There was and is a completely different feeling reading my 33 comments left by kind people who care about me.    It has made me think about the power of words.    With just a few words we can build someone up and help them see who they really are or we can tear them down with hurtful words that are built on untruths, anger or hate.   Words are the way we communicate with one another everyday.    I decided I need to stop and think about what I am saying....is it truth?   Does it build another person?    What can I change in myself to a better builder?   

Words can only go as deep as we let them.   
While I was taken back by my experience it hasn't shaken my sense of who I am.   While I did feel rather uncomfortable and it did leave me wondering for a little bit, I have chosen to not take it to heart.   But I will take to heart the powerful words of my friends and their love for me.

In this time we live in where words fly to and fro in a click of a button I think it is important to contemplate what we are really saying.  
Am I building or am I tearing down?  
I choose to build!

5 comments:

Kim said...

Wow! That mother should have gotten off the phone and made them apologize. How horrible of that mother!

Becky said...

You are a very beautiful woman inside and out. That's the truth!!! I can't believe that the mother was on the phone while in the Stake Center firstly and second why she wasn't carefully watching her children and monitoring what they were saying. Maybe the mom is going through a very hard time right now and she ignores the children just to make it through the day. Her children obviously haven't been taught manners and children definitely don't always speak truth.

Anonymous said...

I passed one day through a lonely town, and saw some men tear a building down. With a "Ho, heave, ho," and a husky yell, they swung a beam, and a sidewall fell. I asked the foremen, "Are these men skilled? The kind you'd hire if you had to build?" "Oh no," he chuckled, "no indeed; The common laborer is all I need." "You see, I can destroy in a day, or two what has taken builders weeks to do." I thought to myself as I went on my way, "Which of these roles have I tried to play? "Am I a builder who works with care, strengthening lives with rule and square? "Shaping my peers to a well-made plan? Helping them be the best they can? "Or am I a wrecker who walks around, content with the labor of tearing down?"

Though of this as I read your post. Thank you for sharing.

Lisa said...

I had a similar experience years ago. I was in a store one day when I overheard two children ask themselves, obviously referring to me, "Is that a man or a woman?" I had short hair at the time and was wearing no makeup that day. Then they had the nerve to come ask me directly. I ignored them. They asked me again, and I flat out told them they were being very rude. These were kids that were old enough to know better. It really bothered me at the time because I was dealing with infertility and already struggled with body image.

Tina and Sal's family said...

I watched a little boy at work one day as he walked by an old man and elbowed him as he walked past. The mother did nothing. It seems that kids are just not taught respect, or even just to be nice now days. They think it is funny to be mean when things are not true. Obviously by the way the mother did nothing she is not teaching them. You are beautiful!!!! I love you!!!!