Mother Teresa said "Kind words are short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless."
I love that image of words echoing down the ages, from generation to generation and that something said many years ago is still making it's impact today, especially when there can be so much ugliness in words that are exchanged in the media and online, and even face to face! These endless echoes though are a way of speaking... making a choice to respond with kindness and gentleness.
Mother Teresa also said "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." Very challenging words!
And I wonder if she herself was echoing the words of those who found themselves travelling through the Valley of Weeping in Psalm 84. They made it a place of springs - what a transformation! I wonder what made that kind of difference in this desperate place. Words of kindness and hope and support and encouragement... smiles, laughter, taking the time to check how folks are faring, offering a hand when someone is faltering, sharing that there is an end to the current trials and that better days are ahead... Whatever was said and did, it made a huge difference!
The idea that we've all been travelling through a desperate time has been more acute these last 15 months or so but it's important to recognise that , before that, many will have had their own valleys to travel through and, no doubt, there will be valleys ahead too... wherever you find yourself now or in the future, speak kind words... to yourself and to others... they make a difference.
To encourage others, why don't you share words of kindness that you've heard or spoken in the comments?