In yesterday’s blog I quoted from a book on the Brain I am currently reading. I realized afterwards that my last sentence was out of place and out of character with the rest of the article. I had inadvertently begun to think about the effects of negative thinking upon other people, whereas the quotation was primarily on how our positive and negative thinking affects us.
It did, however, get me thinking about how our negativity has an adverse effect upon others. If you have ever done any public speaking and for the most part your talk was well received, it only takes one or two real negative remarks to obliterate all the encouragement received from the positive comments. If you have ever written something which had to be reviewed and graded, the same thing happens; the negative review seems to have a stronger effect upon us than the positive. So what does this tell us? Should we never be criticized? Not at all. Constructive criticism is good because it is usually accompanied by helpful suggestions, whereas with destructive criticism we are usually left to absorb the blow, and find our own answer to the criticism.
When young people are fed negative thoughts it invariably will affect their achievements. Statements like, “You will never amount to anything” or “You could never achieve that” or “That’s far beyond you, you don’t have the ability” just create feelings of inadequacy, confusion, disappointment and even low self-esteem. How many parents or teachers have killed the aspirations of a young person who was starting out in life with great hopes? Just at the point they needed encouragement, they are unceremoniously put down.
Our thoughts are powerful but so are our comments and statements. One negative comment can do so much damage for a long time. But a good word spoken at the right moment can provide motivation for someone to achieve great things and, maybe for them, the fulfillment of a life-long dream. Let us be the people who help others build and achieve their dreams. Let us be known for our words of encouragement.
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” Proverbs 25:11.