Written By Randi-Kay Anthony
“Your dancers will never forget how you made them feel.”
That was a moment for me and eyes filled with tears. It was also a realization that at 35, I myself, have never forgotten the way my dance teacher made me feel. Positive and negative.
I’ve been studying the book of James the past month. Chapter 3 is tearing me up. I don’t think there is a much harsher realization than knowing the impact and power your words hold.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brother, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
…but no human can tame the tongue, it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
I own a dance studio and am in a position of authority, where I can make or break a kid’s confidence, and that is scary. I can do that, all with my words. Knowing the power you hold in how you speak to someone is something that I forget so often. Our words matter. You can beat someone down to feel worthless, or you can build someone up. We are teaching our future and our words are affecting these kids. They won’t forget what we say to them, be it a compliment or a correction. We have the choice in how we say anything on both ends of the spectrum. Our words matter.
My words matter. My students listen and hang on to every single word I say. Even when they are not involved in the conversation.
I keep coming back to that “They will never forget how you made them feel” in conjunction with James 3. Learning how powerful you can be with just a few words should not be brushed to the side.
“Nice job! That was great!” or “What was that?”
The tone you possess—it matters. Even in how you answer a question. I fail constantly, and I apologize often, but this is why I can’t seem to move on from this chapter. It’s creating an impact in my life, that will create and impact my students’ lives.
Jesus keeps letting me know that my words can impact others’ lives.
Yours too. Not just from a teaching standpoint, but in general. Your demeanor and your words are powerful. Your words matter.
Image Credit: Carole Anthony Photography