My Granny always said to be careful what you say and make sure you would sign your name to it. She referred to both spoken and written words. Now, this was "back in the day" of actually having a conversation with someone face to face, talking on the telephone (a luxury to many at the time), or writing a person a letter or card (and actually sending it to them through the "snail mail"). I know, I know ... so old fashion! But one thing is for sure --- words were forever.
Today we have advanced modern technology tremendously. We have the world-wide-web that connects us to the Internet to send an email (which is actually a slower means of communication these days), post a comment to someone on any of the hundreds of social networking websites, write our thoughts and messages in a blog (such as this), gather any information we may need or want with just the click of a button. We have cell phones to carry with us wherever we may wander, with the means to send a text message through the cell phone to relay to someone else. Whatever the means, one thing is for sure --- words are forever.
My Granny had no idea that her forever words would have such a deeper meaning (and warning) today - 24 years after she went Home with Jesus - than they did "back in the day". For example, when we hand-wrote a letter or card to someone we most always proofed it (looked over it to make sure it sounded appropriate). Today, we "hit the send button", sometimes without even a second glance at what we've written. Or we send a text message, and afterward wonder if the person will understand what we're trying to say. I for one find it challenging to convey my thoughts over an email or text. I want to make sure that the receiver will have no doubt or misunderstanding of what I'm saying. And this goes for my "tone" of emails, texts, status updates, tweets, blogs, and the list goes on. Do I always succeed in my over-cautious proofing of my words? Not always. Do I always clearly convey the point/message that I'm trying to say? Not always. But what I am (trying) to perform is a heart-attitude check on my forever words. By doing this, I find that I have less damage to try to "undo" later. However, words are forever.
"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." In my opinion (and only my opinion), the person who made-up that phrase had absolutely no communication with anyone else. The fact is, words can hurt ... words do hurt ... words have the power to destroy.
However, there are words that have the power to heal ... to uplift ... to encourage ... to support ... to motivate ... to appreciate ... to be positive. Our pastor has said many times that "Words Matter" -- he actually had a series on this as well. And he's right ... words do matter, because they are "forever words". We can't take them back, we can't "un-print" them, nor "un-send" them. We will use more forever words to restore and repair what we tore down when using less-positive forever words.
I've seen so much technology developments in my lifetime, and I know there's more coming. Lucy will be a pre-teen in ten years. No, I'm not wishing time away (actually the opposite -- wishing it would slow down). But I wonder what technology advancements will be by then? Just when we think we've seen about all the "modern technology" there possibly could be, something new comes along. How will Lucy's generation be affected by technology? Will her generation be so flippant with forever words? Will she "proof read" before she hits "send"? Although I have no idea the answers to any of these questions, I do know that her Granny will always tell her to make sure you can sign your name to it.
For months the idea of blogging was in my head. I often wondered, though, do I really have anything worth writing? and will I use my words in the right way? I do not have the answers, but I do know that my name is signed to it.