I’m a huge nerd and am just about done with the 5th book of the George R.R. Martin series, A Song of Ice and Fire — otherwise knows as “Game of Thrones” to all the insolent FOOLS who don’t realize that is just the name of the first BOOK and the HBO series, bahhha! (pretentious snort-laugh while I push my glasses back up my nose).
A phrase some of the characters use in the book is “words are wind”. The context is that words don’t mean anything — ACTIONS are the key.
Another phrase we’re all familiar with is “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This is a particularly good phrase for the youngest child (like me) to use on older siblings when mom and dad are watching to ensure that the aforementioned youngest sibling doesn’t get his face smashed in.
But wind can cause some serious damage. And words can scar.
We have all said things to people we love that we instantly regret or wish we could “un-say.” And no one is affected more by words than our children. Anyone able to recall a memory of mom, dad, or guardian saying something to you when you were a kid that has just stuck with you? Yeah. No bueno.
So what’s my point?
Well, the “words are wind” thing combined with a TED talk I watched recently, that blew my socks a little farther off than most TED talks do, led me to make a vow to myself — and here goes:
I will never say anything to anyone that could not stand as the last thing I ever say.
A little context — in the TED talk, a story is told about a 15 year old Jewish girl and her 8 year old brother who have just climbed aboard a train to Auschwitz. She glanced down in the mayhem and noticed he wasn’t wearing shoes. So, as any 15-year old big sister will do, she snapped something at him about why he can’t keep up with his things and how could he be so stupid to forget his shoes!
Turns out it was the last thing she ever said to him. She survived…and never saw him again.
And when she walked out of that camp and “into life” as she puts it, she made that vow to herself.
Imagine if we could all make that vow and stick to it 95% of the time? Imagine the kind of world this would be. So that’s a big picture dream that’s kind of over-the-top and unrealistic.
But what ISN’T unrealistic is you being able to make that a rule in your own mind and in your own house with your own kiddos.
Making their lunches and getting them to bed on time and creating environments for them to play and move don’t mean a whole heck of a lot if your kids don’t feel loved.
Just a quick thought for the day. That realization affected me greatly and I wanted to share. I am 24 hours into the vow and it’s going good so far! I’ve caught myself several times already choosing different words….words that I wouldn’t regret if they were my last.