The ever wonderful Krista from ~my life as i see it~ has this line inviting one to leave comments.
Use your kind words.
Krista is the kind of blogger I wish I was; infrequent but when she does post every one is a gem, well-considered, prosaic, thought-provoking and gentle.
I feel like she asks us to respect that, to tread lightly, to be our best selves.
For isn't that was using kind words really is? To be your best self, to be respectful, to think before you blurt.
I've been thinking about this recently as Stella starts to develop language. To understand words, link them with images, become more aware of subtle tone, emotive inflections, to mimic and express herself in more and more ways.
I'm dusting off the skills I largely learnt from my Mum when Frieda was at this stage.
Stella and I sit together 'reading' a book. On a page of farmyard animals I ask her, 'Where's the duck?'.
She points to a sheep.
I smile encouragingly and say 'That's a sheep, he goes baa, isn't he lovely and woolly. Here's a duck, swimming in the water, quack quack.'
She quacks and points to the duck, 'quack quack quack'.
There is no negativity in this space, no harsh words, nothing shrill or grating.
Sometimes I rue that my words to Frieda, and hers to me, are not always as kind. But then I remember that they're kinder than they have been in the past, kinder than they will no doubt be at some stage in the future.
Kind in all the ways that really matter. This is an ever-changing process.
And I have to giggle that Stella's first 'phrase' is 'bag 'og', said with a little menacing finger in the air, whenever our poor hounded bull-terrier enters the room.
Not all of one's words are kind, and one can't be expected to stick to the kind ones all the time right?
Recently I witnessed a woman I know speaking to her husband in the most revolting and patronising manner. I wouldn't speak like that to our dog, no matter how many times she'd shat on the bathroom floor.
I don't know the circumstances of the altercation, and while I believe that no one truly knows the inner workings of someone else's relationship, I do know that to speak to another human being in that tone reveals a total lack of respect. And that made me sad.
And it was in front of their children and mine. That made me sadder.
The next day I stood behind a man at a pay-parking stattion. His coin kept dropping through, rejected by the machine. He kept trying, the machine kept denying and eventually, instead of the exasperated huffy sigh I was expecting, he threw back his head and laughed, catching myself and the growing queue behind me unawares, making us all smile too.
As he walked away to try another station I noticed he was wearing a dog-collar. Not being a man of god I couldn't say whether that was what made all the difference, but I could tell he was, in his head, using his kind words.
Such a small thought, but such a vital one. Use your kind words. I bet you'll hear them spoken back to you.