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June 24, 2021

Ann Farabee column: Say nice things

By Ann Farabee

“You are doing a great job!” were the words my principal spoke as he left my classroom. Hearing him say those words melted my heart. I clung to his every word.

“I love you Mom,” were the words written on a note pad and handed to me many years ago by my six-year-old son. I wrote back, “I love you, too.” The look on his face melted my heart. I clung to his every word.

“You are really good at puzzles!” I said to my little grandson as he was working away. He smiled and then gave a lengthy explanation of puzzle-working strategies. The look on his face melted my heart. I clung to his every word.

Those were three simple moments in my life:

*Words from an employer I longed to hear. Words that made me want to be better.

*Words from my child — written in love, handed to me, and remembered years later.

*Words my grandson enjoyed hearing and I enjoyed saying. Words of encouragement.

What if it had been this instead?

Hopefully you will improve the longer you teach.”

You left out the comma.”

Is that all you like to do? Work puzzles?”

It certainly would have taken away some precious memories.

The power of words.

Words said.

Words written.

Words heard.

They all mean something.

Choose them carefully.

They may be remembered years later.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”

A honeycomb is a place where bees store their honey. It seems like a good idea to have a storage place for our sweetness and our kindness.

Oh, we do have a storage place. It is in our hearts and in our spirits. God puts it there for us to give out to others.

Good words. Worth much. Cost little.

A kind word — can change someone’s day and sometimes change their lives.

Be careful of the words you say — keep them short and sweet.

You never know from day to day which ones you’ll have to eat!

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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