I've learned lately how powerful our words can be. As a little girl, I loved the book "Silver Boxes" by Florence Littauer. It was such a strong visual that our words should be like little silver boxes with bows on top, making the receiver feel loved and warm.

Yesterday I spotted this on the trail and it seemed oddly out of place- bright pink letters splashed across a pipe, tucked underneath the moss and leaves of the dirt trail. But it caught my eye, and made me pause. Which is so valuable in this life where we are constantly rushing around, grabbing our coffee and not making eye contact with the barista and jabbering on our phones and erupting reactively with hurtful words that somehow slipped out of our mouths in the moment- so fast that we couldn't catch or retract them. And like arrows, they had already pierced the heart of the listener, spreading their poison into the veins.

So before you speak, THINK:

Is it True?
Is it Helpful?
Is it Inspiring?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?

This is a good litmus test. Because our words form our thoughts, which ultimately turn into action.

So even if it seems as unnatural and out of place as those bright pink letters smack dab in the middle of a trail, try it. THINK before you speak. Who knows, the words you speak into someone may be the tiny acorns of life, and years later when you revisit that trail, you'll see how that mighty oak tree really did grow.