The Power Of Words

power-of-wordsWords have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world. -Buddha

Sticks and Stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. —childhood rhyme


I am in the midst of the days of awe…the 10 days of the Jewish New Year, a time for serious introspection, a time for repentance and renewal.  Today as I was running around the house trying to get ready for company I said something harsh to my husband.  He didn’t deserve it at all. He had just thrown in a load of clothes and made me an omelet for breakfast. Even if he hadn’t been so kind and wonderful, he still would not have deserved to be spoken to in a sarcastic manner.

This conversation with my husband caused me to deeply consider the power of words to hurt or heal to empower or destroy. I thought about how many opportunities we have during the day to use our words to create peace or to create disharmony.

Recently I read a story about a study group led by Rabbi Karyn Kedar. She began her study group one day with the beginning of Psalm 51, “God, Open up my lips that my mouth may declare your glory.”  She went on to ask the women in the group to consider if every time they were to speak, they would think about if what they said was acceptable to God.  If before they talked to their spouse, they made sure that their answer would be pleasing to God. If they were about to share some gossip they would ask themselves if those words would reflect the holiness of God.

How would the world be transformed if we all took the words of the Rabbi to heart? What would it be like if children were raised with words that reflected, soothed, empowered? What if employees were talked to respectfully and kindly? What if exchanges with waitresses and salespeople reflected caring and compassion?  What if bullies didn’t need to bully because they were spoken to lovingly and considerately?

And so on this most holy of times for me as a Jew, I promise to ask myself before I speak, “Are my words pleasing to God?  Are my words hurting or helping, empowering or disempowering, creating peace or disharmony?”

If we all paused before we spoke, would that help us to be more like God wants us to be, kind, loving, nurturing to each other?   If each of us did this our world would be transformed. I am ready! What about you?

Brenda Strausz is a holistic psychologist and coach with practice in Southfield, Michigan. She combines alternative and conventional modalities to guide you to live with more ease, joy and freedom. She strongly believes in the power of love and forgiveness. You can contact her at or from her website

You may also like:

New Year’s Reflections

The Power of a Listening Heart

Nine Ways to Open Your Heart to Joy

© Copyright 2011  Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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  1. Oh Dear Brenda – No truer words could be spoken! This is so meaningful and important – Thank you!

  2. Allison, thank you for your comment. Let’s pray that more people use their words as blessings. Namaste…


  3. Dear Bren and Allison; first let me wish you a very happy, blessed and abundant holiday. Thank you for posting this, Bren. I am more than aware of the power of words to heal and injure, to encourage and humilate. I have been devestated by unkind words, and in turn, I am very aware that I used to be impulsively harsh, only to gravely regret my words and wish I could take them back…let’s just say, I once had a very fiery temper but always apologized. After the sudden passing of far too many people in a short period of time, I decided to police the words I uttered. I began to embrace the philosophy of treating ALL as if they were flowers or butterflies, and even though I still react to meanspirited words, I no longer have that sense of regret. This is beautifully written Bren. Peace, Shalom, Shanti

  4. Shen, thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts…I love the thought of treating all as if they were flowers or butterlies…Peace, Shalom and Shanti to you dear Shen…

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