I was thinking about the inspirational Billie Jean King’s words to be careful what you say as you never know who may be listening. She has undoubtedly inspired not only a generation of sportspeople but also women in general with her words and actions.
I’ve heard the same sentiment used in different ways, many warning that your words might come back and bite you. Hers, however, highlight a more positive message: you never know who your words and actions may inspire.
As one who can be easily touched by people’s words, both negatively and positively, I understand more as I get older the import of consideration. As I’ve said before here, these newsletters often start out ass a rant, only to be honed over days, getting to the root of what it is I truly want to say.
Too easily these days with instant access to online platforms, we are becoming used to spilling our first thoughts without due consideration. Feeling we have a right to comment on everything we see, we often run roughshod over another’s feelings like we never would face-to-face with them.
At any moment in time, with every action and word, we have the possibility to inspire or alienate the people around us. Not everyone is going to agree with everything we say or do, but if we are careful and considerate with those words and actions, even those who disagree may consider them.
Three of the most powerful things that define us are our thoughts, words and actions. Given the tools we have at our disposal today, the gap between the first two of these has become hugely reduced – even by some world leaders – leading to the inevitable misplaced third… action.
For me, empathy resides in the gaps between each of these: the longer the interlude, the greater the compassion. Think…consider; speak… consider, etc… I wonder if nature has just paused us all to consider that exact lesson?