Tonight, as the rain continues to fall, the thirsty ground quickly soaks up these precious drops of moisture and stores what it needs to survive during the long, hot days of summer. As the rain pelts against the window panes, I watch mesmerized as large droplets slowly slide down the glass. The sound of the rain soothes and comforts me, and I feel safe within the walls of my own home. I contemplate getting up and taking care of all the “things” that await my attention, and yet I linger and daydream.
“Words” are on my mind, or more specifically, the power of words. I ponder this because I know how amazing and how detrimental words can be. As an author, my words reach many. I feel a deep responsibility to represent not only the character of the “characters” in my book, but to let my words represent my innermost being. I desire to entertain my readers, as well as depict compassion, strength, determination, and faith throughout the pages of my book.
One word spoken or written can create great happiness or utter despair in others. I write from my heart, from the very depths of my soul because writing is an integral part of who I am. In the real world, I earn my living as a teacher, and in this capacity, the words I speak are even more important than those I write. Each day in the classroom, I must try to teach young minds all they need to learn in order to “pass” to the next grade. During the short time I have a student in my class I pray my words and my actions demonstrate compassion, strength, determination, and faith.
I have been given a very great power. A power that at times I wish I didn’t have. Regardless of a child’s home life, teachers are empowered as role models for their students. The younger the child, the more they look to the teacher for guidance. A child’s self-esteem, desire to learn, even their need to be noticed and cared about is balanced by words. One word of kindness can motivate a child, while one unkind word can crush a child’s spirit.
As the rain falls, my thoughts drift back to my own school days. How powerful words can be to a child. So many years have gone by, yet certain memories remain permanently etched in my mind. I would like to say all my memories are positive ones, but I can’t. There were teachers who often criticized me for being a dreamer, while others nurtured the dreamer within me. I was not always the most motivated of students. I always did just enough to get by, even though I had the ability to be so much more. It wasn’t until high school that a teacher lit a spark within me that drew me to become who I am now. One small sentence, one kind word, spoken at a time in my life when I desperately needed reassurance changed the course of my life.
Words…Did my life change overnight because of one person’s gentle words? The answer is no, but it did begin the metamorphosis within me. Am I who I have become today because of her words. Possibly, because that day a simple spoken word of kindness helped me begin to believe in myself. Each day, as words are written or spoken the thirsty soul quickly soaks up these precious drops and stores what it needs to survive during the long, hard days of life.
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops.” (Emily Dickinson)
Thank you Susan for sharing such an intimate story with us. We can all learn from it.
20 Responses to 'WORDS — August 16, 2010 by Susan Earl'
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on August 16, 2010 on 5:54 am
Beautiful article Susan! I can tell by the WORDS of your article that you are a very caring Author, Teacher and Person. You are so right about the impact that words have. Everything we perceive and think about can have either a negative or postive affect. It is wonderful that you are wanting to bring out pleasant emotions. As people we are challenged daily on to how we react to various situations….either positively or negatively .Your kindness allows your readers as well as your pupils to take the high road and receive healthy ,positive and enlightening messages.This will have a profound impact on their day! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Lorraine! I’m a little late checking in today as this was my first day back at work, and the students come back next week. I pray that I will make a positive impact in the lives of my students and that my words will encourage rather than discourage them in their future pursuits. Susan
Thank you Susan, for sharing your deep feelings about “words”! I agree with you about the importance of words and how careful we must be especially around young people! I recall many times as a young girl feeling inadequate and insecure because of harsh words spoken so I can certainly relate. I loved the way you started this blog and how comforting you felt in your home as the rain was falling and I hope you enjoy my poem “Rain” which I will be sending to Dolores in the near future!
Thank you Shirley for your positive comments. It is so true about the power of “words” and the lasting impression they can have on us both as children and even as adults. I look forward to receiving your poem “Rain”. I imagine it will be as comforting as its title.
Hi Shirley, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. It touches my heart that my words can evoke memories in others hearts. I appreciate your kind words and support, and I really look forward to reading your poem “Rain”. susan
Thank you Fred! I agree completely with you. I wrote a little blurb years ago that has stuck with me all these years and I try to remember and follow my own “advice” as I walk into the classroom or anywhere actually. I’ll share it here… hopefully it makes sense to others… “Guard carefully the words you speak, other ears may truly seek compassion from you, and then find a shallow soul dwelling within your mind.” Susan
Excellent, Susan. I see you and I have much in common. I, too, earn my living as a teacher, and my passions are reading and writing. I write from my heart and soul. Blessings to you and yours and thanks for sharing such a heartfelt piece. Barb
Thank you, Barb! I agree that it is our choice each and every day to use the power of words in a positive, loving way or in a way that is detrimental to others and ourselves. Today I feel very blessed by all the words of kindness I have received from all of you! Susan
Your article is right on. I know in my educational career, I had teachers that were dismissive and teachers that were encouraging. The years that I had an encouraging teacher my scores, my self esteem , my curiousity etc. just sored.
There were some cutting words from some adults in my life, that still haunt me, that I still battle. It is just amazing how powerful adult voices are to kids. Kids, especially little ones, so just want to be please. I just spent a couple of weeks with a few little kids and they were so thrilled everytime I noticed something of fussed about something… it was awesome to see.
great article … very thought provoking …..
I’m so glad you are one of the teachers that invests today in the way your voice will sound in the future. It definitely will become part of your students self talk… good for you!
Thank you hope_rising! It is very hard to heal from harsh words. As you have, I have struggled in childhood and in my adult life to overcome the “cutting” words. It isn’t an easy task, and I know there will be some that will haunt me all my life. I am very grateful to all the teachers, friends, and family in my life that have encouraged me. I am also feeling very encouraged by all the kind words I have received here today! I’ll leave you with another little blurb… not quite poetry and not really prose, just a thought I wrote long ago… ” Sometimes when you least expect it your life is touched by kindness… don’t be afraid to reach out and absorb the warmth… for if you do, then your life may touch someone else with kindness, too.” Have a blessed evening! Susan
Thank you all for your caring comments. It is a true blessing to me to read each of your thoughts regarding my “Words”. I greatly appreciate each one of you and offer a huge thank you to Dolores for giving me this opportunity to share this article with you all. Blessings Always, Susan