Words Can Heal


Learning Life Skills

Children spend most of their waking hours, as well as most of their energy and attention, on learning subjects such as math, science, English, history, and geography. They study so that they will get good grades so that they will get into a good college so that they will get a degree so that they will get a good job so that they will earn a livelihood . . . so that they will have a happy life.

It’s possible, however, for a person to get straight A’s, get admitted to a top college, land a job with a prestigious corporation, bring home a 6-figure salary . . . and be miserable. How? If one’s fellow employees don’t trust him, his wife divorces him, and his children hate him, he may have succeeded in his career, but failed in life. A person who lacks healthy, loving relationships will not be happy.

Learning how to build healthy, loving relationships is just as important as learning math and English. One doesn’t acquire “people skills” automatically; they must be learned and practiced, just as one must learn figure skating and pole vaulting. Many students will go on to careers where they will never have occasion to use the algebra they learned, but all students will use their people skills in every aspect of their lives—at work and at home.

Behavior in the playground is a sobering predictor of behavior in the workplace. Learning to relate harmoniously to others will stand one in good stead with his/her employer, fellow workers, employees, neighbors, friends, spouse, and children. Conversely, a boy who bullies classmates will grow up to be an employer who bullies his employees, and his employees will despise him, which will significantly reduce their productivity. A girl who gossips about her classmates will grow up to be a worker who gossips about her associates, and they will distrust her, which will impair the atmosphere in the workplace. A boy who teases his siblings and friends will grow up to be a father who teases his children, and they will resent him. A girl who mercilessly shuns a classmate will grow up to be a woman who’s not on speaking terms with her neighbors.

Nothing one learns during one’s school years is more important than learning to relate harmoniously with others.

Lessons to Learn Early On

Here is a sample of four life skills worth learning early in life:

Empathy. Before you pick on, tease, or shun a classmate, ask yourself: How would I feel if this were being done to me? If the answer is, "terrible," stop yourself. Empathy is the glue that binds people together in loving, lasting relationships. If you don’t foster this quality, no matter how witty and popular you might be, your adult relationships will be superficial and short-lived.

Kindness. It feels good to do good—at any age. Doing a favor for siblings or friends, even just giving them a kind word when they’re down, will make you feel good about yourself. Late at night, in the privacy of your own room, when the computer is turned off, you’ll feel a glow of satisfaction and self-worth.

Co-operation. A highly competitive youngster can become a back-biting adult, the dread of his company. Cultivate the consciousness that you and your classmates are on the same team. Cheer on someone else's success; it doesn’t diminish your achievements at all. Later in life, when you’re being considered for a raise or a promotion, one of the qualities most important to your personnel manager will be your prowess in "teamwork."

Conflict resolution. Two three-year-olds who want to play with the same toy will end up hitting and biting each other. A husband and wife who disagree on a destination for their long-awaited vacation better have developed skills in conflict resolution. Life is full of conflict, but it need not turn into strife. Learning to remain calm, listen to the other party, focus on solutions, and compromise are skills crucial to any harmonious marriage. The time to learn such skills is during youth, not the week before the wedding!

Source: Visit www.WordsCanHeal.org for more ideas on how to heal with words. And spread the word! Send this message out today -- together we can make a difference!

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