There a few people who have influenced me more than my dad. He’s a cut above the rest and could have helped pen How To Win Friends And Influence People. If you’ve met me for five minutes, it’s highly likely that I made mention or reference to my dad. I could post continuously on things that I’ve learned by merely observing how my dad goes about things, but for the time being, I’ll take a moment on his words.
My mind’s eye sees words as a knife; a tool. They can be used for good and evil; for hurt or healing. My dad has an incredible ability to think on his feet and answer promptly; thoughtfully. This, in and of itself isn’t so incredible, but the fact that he doesn’t sink his teeth in and chomp a person to bits when the opportunity presents itself sets him apart.
This resonated with me recently as I handed him the golden opportunity by asking, “How is my parenting?” He paused. He thought. I could see his mind swirling, calculating and measuring his response. There was an understanding of the power in his hand; carefully and calmly he responded with words that weren’t all pleasant to hear, but bearable because they were thoughtfully spoken in love and gentleness.
Put in the same position, a friend asking a vulnerable question, I have the best intentions to be kind, calculated and gentle in my response. unfortunately, I’m like a snowball, that beings with small gentle flakes and winds into a boisterous mass of destruction.
So true is the Proverb: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Heart Check: How do you measure your words?