Words are powerful: Be careful what you say

Saturday November 9 2019



Min Atek

Min Atek 

By Min Atek

Have you heard that spoken words are powerful? That words have the potential to make or break someone?
This is what she repeatedly told her son, “May your future be as dark as the darkest night. Like your father, you will die a painful death with Aids.”
The estranged husband had left home for 15 years and went to Kampala to work. I can only imagine the pain and frustration the teenage mother had to endure. This perhaps explains why she was so bitter towards her son.
Many years later, this is undoubtedly one of the saddest stories of a proclamation I have had the chance to know.
When he passed on recently, I get the feeling my friend was tired of the cat fights with her son. All his life had been spent trying to prove his mother wrong. It was clear she was that part of his life that he hated.
Unfortunately, there is power in the words of a parent over a child, which in most cases come off as simple but highlight reality.
The reality of this story has continued to send cold shivers down my spine. Let us not even begin to judge the mother. The key question that has been running through my mind was the kind of words I have been speaking to and about my children.
Someone said that life and death are in the power of the tongue.
I am frequently challenged, searching diligently that the words of my mouth and the proclamations of my soul remain life-giving rather than destructive.
It is said even when joking, the jokes ought to build rather than to tear down someone. Instead of rebuking your child because of their failure to get the highest score, let your words focus on how a child as brilliant as yours ought not to be scoring low grades.
Rather than calling the child names because they carry a remarkable resemblance with their mother whom you bitterly broke up with, focus on the beauty they carry and how blessed you are to have them.
Every parent carries responsibility and God-given authority to pronounce blessings or curses upon their children. Be careful what you say to a child.

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