Words That Change Lives Essay

In 1871, a young man picked up a book and read 21 words that had a dramatic impact on his life. At the time he was a medical student, and he was worried about passing his final medical exams and how to build up a practice. Incredibly, the 21 words this young medical student read helped him to become the most famous physician of his generation. He would go on to organize the world-famous Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Oxford University would bestow on him the highest honor that can be given to any medical doctor in the British Empire, making him the Regius Professor of Medicine. The King of England knighted him for his accomplishments.

And when he died, two huge volumes totaling 1,466 pages were required to write a story of his life. The man was Sir William Osler. The 21 words that transformed his life were Thomas Carlyle’s: “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. ” Words are powerful. The Bible declares: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men… Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing” (James 3:9, 10). Most of us can recall words of wisdom from a parent, teacher, friend, or even a stranger who helped us over some rough spot in our lives.

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Likewise, most of us can remember a moment when harsh words, carelessly inflicted, generated pain or shame or humiliation. Simply recalling that moment is likely to renew the pain. Since words contain such power, it is vital that we take care that what we speak and write lifts people up rather than pull them down. Consider these six inspiring ways to se words: Use Words to Build Moral Courage The Bible instructs; “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love ad good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). A dramatic example of the power of words to encourage took place in Bulgaria during World War II.

Soon after the German army occupied that country, the Nazis issued an order to the Bulgarian government to begin deporting all the Jews. However, Bulgarian Orthodox Bishop Kiril Boris III, encouraging and even demanding that he resist the order. Bishop Kiril said the king’s soul good stood in danger if he acquiesced to the evil demand. Furthermore, the bishop told King Boris that he personally would lead other Bulgarian Orthodox faithful to lay their bodies on the railway tracks rather than allow train-loads of Jews to be carried off. Bishop Kiril’s telegram was enough. The king and the Parliament refused to comply with the Nazi edict.

Their refused not only protected the Jews who hadn’t yet been detained but even resulted in the release of many of those already in custody. It has been estimated that 90 percent of the Bulgarian Jews were saved. Use Word to Generate Confidence Michelle Pfeiffer credits her success as an actress to the confidence she gained from comments one of her teachers made. She says, “I had a high-school teacher who said one simple thing to me: “I think you have talent. ” And I never forgot it, partly because I got very few compliments while growing up. “Now, I didn’t at that moment think, “Oh, I’ll be an actress. Still, I came to feel very confident in that world because of that single comment. ” Pfeiffer encounter is a reminder that positive words expressed become a creative force that generates energy. Use Word to Correct Patti and her friends came from affluent families. Every Friday night they gathered at a country club where special events were planned for high school students. It was the kind of place where dressing “right” was such a concern that Patti and her friends often consulted before school on Friday mornings to find out which designer clothes they should wear that evening. One day a teacher asked Patti to stay after school.

When they were alone, the teacher asked her if she had heard of India’s caste system. Patti said No, so that teacher explained that Brahmins, the top caste, could not even allow an Untouchable’s shadow to fall on them. “You and our friends,” the teacher said sadly, “remind me of those Brahmins. ” Patti was shocked to be perceived as a person who excluded others. That brief conversation changed Patti’s life. Today, she is the most inclusive person in her circle of friends. Use Words to Express Appreciation “The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated,” noted 19th –century psychologist William James.

Often our hard work and sincere effort is taken for granted. One woman, who has taught for 25 years, recalls the delightful experience delivered to her by a fifth-grade boy. She had spent the day as a substitute teacher. When the school day was over, she was sitting at the front of the classroom making notes for the regular teacher. One of the students approached her and quietly waited. “I looked up, smiled, and asked, “Yes, Jeff? ” she recalls. To her amazement the boy said: “I’d like to thank you for being such a nice substitute teacher.

I really appreciated your kindness. ” The teacher says, “ I was totally surprised-and pleased-to hear such words from a fifth-grade boy! I felt a warmth was over me from my head to my toes as I scrambled for a response. His words left a glow in my heart that is with me even today, many months later. ” Use Words to Offer Praise “ I can live for two months on a good compliments,” declared Mark Twain. His comment is a reminder of how important praise is for nourishing the human spirit. A word of praise honestly uttered, a compliment sincerely given, is verbal sunshine.

When Emily Rooney, daughter of television commentator Andy Rooney, became the first woman to be executive producer of ABC’s top-rated World News Tonight With Peter Fennings, her father was asked how he felt about his daughter’s accomplishment. He paid her this lovely compliments: “If Emily is as good a producer for World News Tonight as she has been a daughter for us, then ABC is lucky to have her. ” Use Words to Instruct During times of crisis a few simple sentences of instruction can provide invaluable guidance. Bobbie, a 49-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis had a wonderful family and a successful career.

But at times she wondered if MS would force her into a disability retirement. During a flare-up of her illness, she was finding it impossible to get her clothing in place after using a restroom at work. Overcome with frustration, Bobbie began to sob. Just then a younger co-worker came into the restroom and asked Bobbie if she could help. “Go away! ” Bobbie cried. “I’m to much of a burden. People get tired of helping someone like me. ” But the woman walked over and began to assist, saying gently, “Never turn down assistance or hesitate to ask help.

Remember, your need is someone else’s opportunity to give. ” That woman’s wisdom has echoed in Bobbie’s mind many times over the ensuing 12 years. “Even today,” Bobbie says, “that young woman’s profound understanding still reminds me that kindness willingly received is a kindness given in it’s own right. ” Reaction: Different situations cited from this reading on the power of words to change lives or outlooks of an individual. Their behaviors are motivated by words to build moral courage, generates confidence, words to correct, words of appreciation, words of praise and words to instruct.

These are things, somehow answers to the hierarchial need of man which are the social and self-esteem. We value words of appreciation so highly because so much of what we do seems to go unnoticed. Therefore words can be a powerful tool to meet and satisfy the needs of man. A weapon for a manager to motivate his employee to exert more effort in carrying their task for the betterment of the organization or institution where he is working. Reference: Health and Home The National Journal for Better Living The Book 2000


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