By Mary Bridges, chaplain
I struggle with the mood of our world. Our world today feels so broken and filled with anger, hostility and disrespect. It seems far removed from the values that my father taught me.
My father was a first-generation American with an eighth-grade education. He was the smartest and kindest person I have ever known. He had a gentle soul. His life and words reflected his faith and values. From him, I learned to respect others, no matter what their opinions or views might be. He taught me to help others when they need help, and to always remember to thank those who have helped us. He taught me that actions define who we are and our words have more power than we realize. This simple story shows us the power and importance of our words.
One day, a group of frogs decided to make a race to the top of a high tower. A lot of people came to see them and give them their support, but the race had just begun and everybody was already saying that the frogs would not get there: “It doesn’t make any sense going on! You’ll never reach the top of the tower!”
Little by little, the frogs felt disappointed and discouraged, except for one of them that continued to run. And everybody cried out: “Give up! Give up! You’ll never get to the top!” Listening repeatedly to these negative words led the frogs to abandon the race after all, except for the one frog that, despite what people were saying, and though alone and in great pain, continued to run and finally reached the top.
Deeply astonished, the other frogs wanted to know how she had managed to do it. They came to her and asked her what her secret was. And it was then that they found out that … she was deaf!
Words are far more important than we realize. They have the power to encourage or discourage others. They have the power to lift people up or tear them down; they have the power to spread love and not hate. Tune out the negative words in our world and concentrate on all things positive.