I'm doing some temporary contract work right now at a military hospital. It's a big, busy place and try as we might to work around the schedules of the various staff members, it's pretty common for us to be working on their computers at a time when they'd like to be using them.
This morning, I was working my way down one particular hallway and everyone was just incredibly negative. They had nothing good to say about eachother, the government, or us as technicians. They were quite vocal about these upgrades being unncessary and just a waste of time and money. I continued to do my job, but it was hard to keep a smile on my face while I was doing it.
I emerged from that hallway and entered another office. Just as I was beginning to work, one of the occupants of that office came in. I explained what I was doing and apologized for any inconvenience. This particular person came back with a cheerful response. "Inconvenience? Oh no! We've been waiting for this. We're excited!"
It's amazing what a difference a compliment can make. I still ran into other "less than satisfied" folks, but that one compliment carried me all the way through the rest of this morning.
God has been doing a lot in me... and a big part of it has to do with how I relate to others. My natural tendency is to get negative and critical. Most of the time, I don't even think of it that way -- I'm just "calling it the way I see it." I think maybe God wanted to show me that words really do have a significant impact... not in a "name in and claim it" funky metaphysical way, but because words have an impact on people.
It was a good illustration and reminder for me to watch what I say!