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Moving Mountains and Burning Bridges: The Power of Words

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Words can move mountains. That's what I tell my speech students--their words can change the world. They can hurt or heal, break or bond. They have power. I'm acutely aware of the fact that what we say to others lingers far after the words are said; words have a way of worming themselves into the very fabric of our being and becoming a part of us. When those words wound, we carry that pain far longer than even we suspect. Words are particularly insidious weapons because too often, we fail to recognize the myriad of ways they'll follow us. I try to be mindful of that. I try to remember, in my daily interactions, to keep my words kind--or as kind as I can in a situation. I admit I fail more often than I would like, but I do my best to make sure the words I leave behind me will make people feel powerful, important, heard, supported. At the worst of times, I try to leave behind words that at least won't do any damage.

Words can move mountains. But they can also burn bridges…