When was the last time that you actually stopped and thought about what you were going to say to someone before you said it? When was the last time you considered how the other person would feel from your words before your own feelings? I admit that I am at fault. But over the past couple of years having lived through some challenging times in my life, I have come to realize that the words we speak unequivocally have an everlasting effect on others without us ever knowing because for some, it may be too late to retract those words.
I want to share three simple ideas that each one of us can consider implementing in our lives that can help us become better human beings. Even if we practice any one of the three noted below, I guarantee that our last words spoken may serve as an inspiration that others will look up to and follow in the time to come:
Think before you speak
This is perhaps the one thing we have all been guilty of at some point in our lives. We infrequently stop to think about how our words will affect others before we say them. As the saying goes, "a fool is made more of a fool, when their mouth is more open than their mind.” I have learned that the best way to ensure that your mind and mouth are in-line is by making certain that your words add value to any conversation, whether it be over a cup of coffee with a friend, over the dinner table with your wife, or in an interview setting with a prospective employer. Other than time, spoken words cannot be brought back. Once something is said, it remains said. Understand the implications of your words before they are uttered because to you, it may be just another ramble but to others, it may be something that sticks to them for the rest of their lives.
Empathize before you criticize
Empathy is defined as the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions. Without knowing what another person is thinking, feeling or going through, why are so many of us are quick to criticize and judge? It has been said that “before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes.” It sickens me to see the world publicly criticize and bring shame to the family of the pilot of flight 370 without even considering how their words affect the family and friends of the pilot that are already on the verge of breaking-down completely.
Treat each other with the respect that every human deserves
Why should it be any other way? Who are we to treat another human with disrespect? I do not care how much money, power, status one has in this world, everyone in my eyes, whether it be men or women, white or black, are equal. Perhaps my utopia would be a world with no boundaries drawn on a map, a world with no political leaders and a world with no biased media to corrupt and sway our minds. I challenge us all to live a life from today on-wards of treating everyone respect, because it is the least that we all deserve.
With every catastrophic event, with every challenge we face, with every family tragedy, we must learn and grow to become better human beings. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of flight 370.