It is easy for me to forget the great power of words because they are so common. The voice of support and confidence can, at times, be the only thing that makes a difficultly seem possible to overcome. A harsh word can be all it takes to steer us away from ever fulfilling our calling. There is enough discouragement inherent in the challenges of life, serving as the voice of reason, more important is the often lone voice of motivation.
I have heard many stories of the small comment which extinguishes the flickering sense of infinite possibility. The child who was told they can not be an artist because they can not spell the word, or they aren‘t good enough or will never make a living. Every one of us has a story we lived or heard encompassing these small deaths. When we went from thinking everything was possible to knowing that it just wasn’t anymore The book Middlemarch follows the ambitions and failures of those who strive for great things. The story follows those who were turned back from their noble goals into the well worn groves of life often steered by the well meaning people around them. Eliot says, “Out the children toddled from rugged Avila, wide-eyed and helpless-looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve.”
We have a responsibility to spur, encourage and challenge those around us. I, personally, need to remember the power of my words and not inadvertently become Eliot’s proverbial Uncle turning those wide eyed children back from their calling.