The power of words is immeasurable. Words last long past the vibrations in the air that produce the sound. I reflected on that recently when I heard an old joke. The joke went like this: A woman was in the habit of passing a pet store daily on her way to work. A parrot, stood guard in the open doorway and upon seeing her would loudly shout insults at her. Daily she endured as the parrot called her “fat” and “ugly” in his loud squawk. Finally she had enough and decided to address the problem to the store owner. The store owner apologized for his rude parrot and told her he would take care of it. The following day as she passed the store, she again experienced the parrot shouting insults at her. In frustration she again reported it to the owner, but this time with a threat. Again he was apologetic and promised she would no longer be bothered by the parrot. A few days later she passed the store and noticed the parrot was once again in the open doorway. As she passed she looked glaringly at him and he looked glaringly at her. She was almost out of earshot when she clearly heard him say “YOU KNOW!”
As a mentor we meet many children who have been exposed to words that can easily be recalled with a simple “you know”. They “know” negative things about themselves that have been told to them by others. We have the ability through our word to change the meaning of “you know”in their lives. One of the greatest tools we use as mentors it’s the tool of encouragement. We encourage with our words, with our smiles, with our nods of acknowledgment of jobs well done. A child who believes something good about themselves is not easily discouraged, because they “know”.
As we start this new mentoring year we take Jesus’ words to heart. Mark 9:42 And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck”