Matt and I had lunch with a dear friend of ours here in Missoula. An older gentleman with lots of wisdom always readily available.
Well, first let me back up.
There is this person Matt and I know here (a different person than the one I was just talking about) and there is just something different about his personality, we just don't get him. We don't know him well at all. In fact every time I see him I have to say his name in my head first to make sure I say the right one out loud. But he's just a different personality and we haven't always gotten him.
Anyways, back to our lunch with our wise friend... In passing, our friend mentioned what an incredible guy this man is. He told us of a ton of behind the scenes things that this man has consistently done, and the incredible amount of time and talent and personal possessions that this guy has given in secret and has never asked for anything in return. He mentioned what a support and encouragement he's been to him. Just really great things.
I didn't even talk about it with Matt but I was quite shocked at how instantly my view changed of this person. I immediately had high respect and regard for him. Simply because a brother of his chose to honor him with his words. And the next time I saw him, I was genuinely pleased to see him.
Isn't that amazing?
I have also experienced the exact opposite. I've heard someone mention something negative about someone else, and try as I might, it's extremely difficult to erase the negative image that becomes attached to that person.
It was a gentle reminder that I need to be very, very careful about the words that I speak about others. I want to be somebody that honors others and creates value for them in the minds of others. I don't want to be a negative-image-creator; there's enough of those as it is.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue..."