The weekly Torah portion for the past week was Devarim,' words'. It is the first few chapters of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is basically a retelling of the Exodus story, with some variations from the story found in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. The title 'words' intrigues me, there are so many ways to interpret it. Moses is talking to the Israelites, telling the story from his perspective.
Words are so important. Just think of how often a single word spoken or withheld changes a situation, or even a relationship. Think of the consequences of saying 'yes' when you mean 'no', or 'I don't care', when you really do. Think of how 'please' and 'thank you' can make it more likely we will get the results we want. Think of how great 'you did a good job' feels, and how much 'you'll never amount to anything' hurts. Remember the old saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? Not true. Bones can heal, but harsh words just scar over.
I don't watch very much TV. I especially don't watch any of the so called 'reality' shows or contest shows. Everyone is so rude to everyone else. Sarcasm and verbal jabs are becoming the norm, and I don't like it. We choose how we interact with others. We choose our tone of voice, and we choose our words. Choose to treat others the way you would like to be treated. Say to them the kinds of things you would like to hear: 'please', 'thank you', 'you look nice today', 'can I help you?'. When was the last time you told the people in your life 'I love you'?
There is a Jewish saying: Repent one day before you die. None of us knows when we will die, therefore, we should make sure our relationships are in order every day, just in case.