A proverb says, “Hard words break no bones.” It means that harsh and unkind words will not hurt us: it is the unkind deed that does us harm. Of course, a word cannot break a bone as a blow can; but we can be hurt in other ways than by having our arms or legs or skulls broken. Unkind words can hurt our hearts. And to hurt a person’s heart, to wound his soul, to make him sad and unhappy, is often worse than breaking his head.
Words have a lot of power, and they can be used to help or to hurt, to wound or to cure, to bless or to curse. Unkind words can do a lot of harm and cause a great deal of sorrow; while kind words can do a lot of good and cause a great deal of happiness.
And kind words are cheap. It costs us nothing to say a kind word to one who is sad or disappointed or in trouble. And often a kind word is more welcome than a costly present. We can often spoil a friend’s happiness for a whole day by a frown, a cross remark, an unjust sneer, a fit of bad temper, or an unkind word. It clouds his sky and puts the sun out. We have no right to make others unhappy just because we feel displeased. How much better, then, to smile, to speak a cheery word, to say kind things, and so make others happy!
Kind words come out of a kind heart. Selfish people find it hard to say kind words because they think only of their own happiness and care nothing about others. If we would say kind words, we must try to sympathize with the joy and sorrow of others, and forget ourselves. The kinder we ourselves are, the more easily, the more natural, and the more sincerely shall we say kind words.
A children’s hymn says, “Kind words can never die.” It is true. They are not forgotten. Many a sad heart will remember you and say, “When I was in trouble he said a kind word to me. I shall not forget.”