The Impact of Words

by Katie Ann

I am super inspired by my sister (shhh.... don't tell her).  She is a confident, beautiful, young woman of God and she's also super comfortable with her beautiful curly hair, something I was never able to do at her age.  Why? Because of two words, "Nice hair."  Now most of you will read this and think that those words imply a compliment, but not always.  Instead my guy friend who said this as he passed by me in the hallway during freshman year of high school said it in that "wow what is that coming out of your head" sort of way.  I had just gotten my hair cut short for the summer and decided to put a little moose in it and wear it curly to school thinking it looked good and his reaction took that all away.  Now I don't think he ever meant to hurt me by this comment, he was just making a statement.  A statement he probably thought was harmless and sort of funny.  But I took it as my hair doesn't look good this way so obviously I need to change it.  It wasn't until freshman year of college, after the incessant encouragement of my roommate, that I attempted to let me natural curls show, and it wasn't until this year that I started wearing it curly on a regular basis.  It's taken me six years to get over that comment and to be perfectly honest it still always plays in the back of my mind.  A thoughtless comment by a silly boy has defined part of my life for six years.  Now first of all, that is a problem that I personally should have dealt with and I shouldn't have let it affect me for so long or define how I saw how God had made me.  But at the same time, how many times do we let things just slip out of mouths without ever thinking about what we're saying.  Trust me, I know how ironic this is coming from a girl who can't seem to shut up most of the time but I want to challenge anyone who reads this to really evaluate what you say before it comes out of your mouth.  A very wise woman recently told me that "Anyone who is prone to running their mouth about something could probably benefit from a pause button before speaking... We could do well to aim for humility in any conversation."  Now I took this statement out of context and from a completely different topic of conversation but I think the message still applies.  I am going to attempt to push the pause button before I speak, will you?