The Power of Words

Years ago I was in a local drug store waiting in line behind a lady who had already received her order. She was conversing with the pharmacist and seemed oblivious to fact that I was waiting behind her. I was neither in a hurry nor annoyed, but a thought came to mind that I remember to this day. If we knew that we had a limited amount of words to speak during our lifetime, would we be a bit more careful how we “spend” our words?

As the years have passed since that incident, I have come to realize that our words truly are limited. Ask the one who verbally fought with their husband or wife and said some very hateful things before the spouse went to work at the twin towers on 9/11. Ask the parent who got into a shouting match with their rebellious teen as the teen raced out of the house in a fit of anger and wrapped his car around a tree. Ask the grown child who, because of the demands of life, was just too busy to call or visit his aging parent. Then, the call came. Life… passes… so…quickly!

I can think of many words I have spoken that wish I could take back, and I can think of many words that I wished I would have spoken and never did. Whatever your age, I know you have regrets just as I do. Truthfully, we have no idea how many words we have left. Therefore, we should be prudent and speak wisely. A few days ago I heard that a long time friend of Elder Source had suffered a stroke. Yesterday, I went to the hospital to visit him. I shared some memories and some kind words with him, words well spent and not too late. 

Whether homebound or in care homes, seniors are some of the loneliest and most forgotten by society, friends, family, and the church. They would be happy for you to phone them, or to stop by and “spend” a few words with them. Yes, it will take an intentional effort and it may cost you some time and expense, but I promise you that you will be glad you did!

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries

(Picture taken from