The Power of Words - An Inspirational True Story About a Young Man

Updated on September 24, 2019
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Audrey's love for piano began at age six. She's is a professional pianist for cruises, hotels and community events. Teaching is her passion.

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Words Affect Our Personal Power

Never doubt the power of words. What we say and how we say it can impact someone's life, either for the better or for the worst. Even a single word, like yes can be a green light that implies "Go, you're on the right track."

The story that follows will tug at your heart and confirm how our choice of words may even save a life.

A Life-Changing Moment

It was in the 1970s that I met a young man with brown wavy hair, sad green eyes and a mouth that never seemed to smile. His name was Edward and he stood a little over 6 feet tall. He presented a mood of quiet, shy and almost pitiful demure.

Edward had enrolled in a music theory class that I was teaching at a beautiful CaliforniaCommunity College located in the small, sleepy town of Moorpark. Beautiful green rolling hills landscaped the small College and the newly built music department was constructed in a complete circle. I was proud to be on staff, offering a variety of music classes after working very hard to attain a teaching degree.

Being a single parent of three children was a mixed blessing. They were the light of my life and reason for getting out of bed each day, but struggling to feed these three and going to school to get my teaching degree was about the hardest thing I had ever done. But – I did it.

Meeting Edward

The first day of class as students mill around as they decide which seat to take is always interesting to me. Some are confident and more aggressive than others, claiming the front row for themselves. Other, less confident fill up the middle section and the back row is usually reserved for the shy students, and even for those who do not want to be here in the first place. This is my own observation and there is always the exception.

It was hard not to notice the only six-foot boy, Edward, as he walked into the classroom a few minutes late and positioned himself in the back row. He slumped into his chair and lowered his head with his arms folded across his chest in a defying manner. This would be his general entrance into class for the remainder of the semester.

As weeks progressed and tests were given, Edward did not do well. He managed to turn in homework which was marked way below his ability level with my notes. He never participated in the class discussions or offered to answer any questions.

To my knowledge, he had no friends at school. Sometimes, during lunch, I would see him sitting on the grass, under a tree, munching on a sandwich and staring into space. On occasion, I would allow myself to join him on the grass and see if I could start up a conversation. I had this gnawing feeling that I needed to know him better, but at the same time stay professional and not allow myself to get involved.

As Teachers, We Can Change Lives

Teachers can shape behaviors in students by example, and by demonstrating love and compassion.
Teachers can shape behaviors in students by example, and by demonstrating love and compassion. | Source

Moorpark College Where I Met Edward

A
Moorpark College, Moorpark, California:
Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Road, Moorpark, CA 93021, USA

get directions

Listen to Your Heart, Not Your Head

Edward rarely talked to me or to anyone. He would nod his head up and down or side to side for a yes, or a no. Never-the-less, I continued to take an interest in Edward in hopes that he would open up to me.

Edward missed too many classes and when he did come, he carried himself like an old man as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. However, one morning, as class was ending and students filed out, Edward shot me a quick glance and I swear that I saw the beginnings of a smile appear.

The more positive interest I showed in Edward, the better his grades became. The semester was winding down, finals were about to begin and I worried about Edwards reaction to his final grade. He was the last one to finish his final exam and as I waited, I said a silent prayer for him. I so much wanted to be able to give him a good grade.

In those days, I had a reputation for being a strict, but fair, grading instructor. I also had the largest enrollment of students in the music department. It was important that I live up to my reputation. Yes, indeed. I would do it by the book, so to speak. I planned on following the teacher's handbook. I would make no exceptions.

Finally, Edward finished the exam and he looked completely worn out and defeated. As he approached the exit to my classroom I wished him good luck and told him I would be giving out the final grades on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m.

My thoughts continued to lead me to Edward and the final exam that he struggled with. I had trouble sleeping that weekend. Somehow, I knew that the grade that I would give him would be a turning point in this young man's life.

My Meeting With Edward

Tuesday morning finally came. I made breakfast, fed the children and helped prepare them for school. There was a mountain of laundry, dishes to do and beds to be changed before I headed out for my classes. None of that seemed to matter. I was a teacher and I had a responsibility to hand out final grades today.

Grades were based on classroom participation, completed assignments, exams, and attendance. Edward would be no exception. He would be given the grade he deserved. Perhaps he needed to learn the biggest lesson of all – to be responsible for his own actions. I felt good about my decision.

I sat in my office looking at the long line of students waiting to meet with me to receive their final grade. I allowed one person at a time to come in, take a seat, close the door and prepare to be “judged”. After each student left my office, I would take a peek at the line to see where Edward was. After an hour or so, the line became shorter and still, there was no Edward. I began to worry. Did something happen at home to delay him? Was there an accident on the way to school? Maybe he was stopped by a policeman? Perhaps he is sick.

The last student in line met with me, received their grades and left.

Where is Edward? Shall I wait a little longer? Am I fooling myself? He is not coming. I felt disappointed but decided to lock up my office and go home. I had done all I could. But something deep within continued to gnaw at me. I felt sick to my stomach. My eyes filled with tears.

What is wrong with me? I took some deep breaths, sat back and closed my eyes. In front of me lay the papers, the final exam for Edward. I had not decided what kind of grade to give him. Well, it didn’t matter as he didn’t show up anyhow. I looked down at the exam with his name printed on it and saw an imaginary D as his final grade.

You're an "A" Person

I got up from my chair, gathered my things, and closed the office door behind me. As I reached for my keys to lock up my office, I heard footsteps. I held my breath as I turned to see Edward standing behind me. He apologized for being late and asked if I would please give him his final grade. I hesitated for a few seconds, then cautiously opened the door and asked him to have a seat.

He looked just terrible. His eyes were sunk with dark black circles under them and the hollows of his cheeks were drawn. His swollen lips were cracked with dried blood in the creases. His skin was pale and his hair matted. He was wearing the same clothes he had worn for the last few weeks.

“Would you like some water?”, I asked him. He replied “No thank you,” as he sat trembling. Then he spoke to me in a low, trembling voice.

“I know that I'm getting a low grade on my final. I realize that I haven't been participating in class and that I am an embarrassment to others. I'm a lazy, selfish, stupid and an ugly no-good-for-anything person. I have no place on this earth and what’s more, no one can ever love a person like me. I am a hopeless case with absolutely no future”.

I could not believe my ears. I wanted to interrupt him, to convince him that he was none of these things. Instead – I let him talk. I listened with my heart and not my head. I fought back my own tears to manifest my strength and professionalism.

When he had finished, I faced him, looked directly into his very sad eyes and said, “Edward, your final grade is an A”. His reaction was one of total and complete surprise. “You are giving me an A? Me? Why would you give me an A when I did such a poor job in class, on my assignments, and on my final exam. Why would you do that?”

My answer to Edward was this. “You may appear to be a D student, but you are an A person. I believe in you now and I will always believe in you. I am here for you now and I will always be here for you. Never, ever forget that. Now, go and create the life you dream of. Believe in yourself. I will be watching. And by the way Edward - I love you”

In all my years of teaching, I have never graded a student this way.

Source

The Goodbye Note

Later that evening, as I prepared to go to sleep, I began to question what I had done. Did I make a terrible mistake? Had Edward filled the room with lies just to win me over and get a high grade? Had I been had? Was my level of compassion playing tricks on me? Finally, my exhausted mind and body gave way to a deep sleep.

At 3:00 a.m. the phone rang. In a fog, I tried to sound alert as I answered it. The voice on the phone asked me if I were Edwards Music Theory and Piano Teacher at MoorparkCollege. I told him yes and waited. “I am a priest from Edwards’ Church and I have something to tell you.” I want to thank you on be-half of Edward’s family and myself for saving his life today.”

The Priest went on to explain to me the events leading up to this phone call. Edward has an older brother who has always been angry because he is short in height, although scholastically a high achiever and excels in sports. This brother has always been extremely jealous of the 6-foot frame of Edward and has belittled and verbally abused Edward most of his life.

This treatment has caused him to have severe low self-esteem and a miserable existence. Edward thought of his brother as his hero and wanted desperately to please him. I am not sure what role the parents played but I get the impression they were wrapped up in their business and had little if any, time for the boys.

Treat Everyone As if They Are an "A" Person

I learned that the day Edward came to meet with me, regarding his final grade, he had left a note on his pillow. It read: “ I am sorry that I could not be the kind of son and brother you all wanted me to be. All I ever wanted was to be loved. I am sorry for being unlovable. I will go now…you will find me in the closet. I am sorry for any inconvenience I have caused you. Please have my body cremated. My small savings is in the top right-hand drawer of the dresser. “

Edward wrote that note prior to meeting with me. His plan was to see me one last time before taking his own life. When I gave him an A, it represented to him that I believed in him and that I loved him and would be here for him. At that very moment, something changed within himself.

He had never heard those words before and it gave him a glimmer of hope. This is all he needed. He left my office feeling positive and uplifted for the first time in his life. He felt so good, he decided to take a long walk in the surrounding hills around the music department and re-live the confirmation he had just heard. He was loved…yes, someone in his useless life loved him and believed in him. He forgot all about his plan to do away with himself.

Meanwhile, his family found the note, went to the closet in Edwards room where they found a rope hanging from the rafters.

His closet was carefully prepared as the last thing he would see before dying. A large photograph of his brother was mounted on the wall, in view, from where the rope was hanging.

Loss of Hope Can Lead to Loss of Life

Words of hope comfort and uplift others. Loss of hope can lead to a loss of life.
Words of hope comfort and uplift others. Loss of hope can lead to a loss of life. | Source

Never Throw Anyone Out

My father taught me that kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. We can all be teachers of love, respect and kindness. Such opportunities pass many peoples way if they can just see them

The late Audrey Hepburn said it best: “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Never throw out anyone.”

How do we restore and renew someones thinking, especially when thoughts are directed inwardly? It begins with our choice of words as we engage in conversation. Even one positive, encouraging word can powerfully influence someone's life.

I've put together this list of words so that you can incorporate them into your everyday talk. Always be sincere when giving another person hope and encouragement:

  • Bright
  • Awesome
  • Beautiful
  • Courageous
  • Brave
  • Kind
  • Successful
  • Creative
  • Determined
  • Brilliant
  • Breathtaking
  • Wonderful
  • Inspiring
  • Dependable
  • Blessed
  • Angel
  • Caring
  • Delightful
  • Deserving
  • Dedicated
  • Enchanting
  • Exciting
  • Quality
  • Loving
  • Extraordinary
  • Persevere
  • Easy
  • Flourish
  • Forgiving
  • Fascinating
  • Glowing
  • Goodness
  • Light
  • Honor Harmonious
  • Hero
  • Heavenly
  • Impressive
  • Genius
  • Clean
  • Brilliance
  • Masterful
  • Lovely
  • Magnetism
  • Leader
  • Magnificent
  • Outstanding
  • Organized
  • Pleasant
  • Overcome
  • Priceless
  • Namaste

Words have the power to destroy or heal. When words are true and kind, they can change the world. Budda

Uplifting, Inspiring Quotes for Difficult Times

Inspirational quotes serve as a comfort during tough times and difficult challenges. They are an excellent reminder of what is important. Make it a habit to read at least one uplifting quote each day. Share inspiring quotes with others to help them overcome obstacles and to believe in themselves.

In the words of Napolean Hill, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

The following list of quotes center on helping others:

  • “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” Abraham Lincoln
  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Ghandi
  • “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” Frank A. Clark
  • “If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.” Buddah
  • “Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)" Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • “An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.” Lydia M. Child
  • “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” Jesse Jackson
  • "God is not looking at whaatyou've done wrong; He's looking at what you've done right." Joel Osteen
  • "There is no point at which you can say, "Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap." Carrie Fisher
  • "Focus on what you are moving toward rather than what you are leaving behind." Alan Cohen
  • "Every exit is an entry somewhere else." Tom Stoppard
  • "Your past may have shaped you, but it does not define who you are now. What defines you is what you do now, your actions now, and what you have become since the past you left behind." ~ Kerry Campbell

Source

Choose Your Words Wisely

Oh, the power of the spoken word! We never know but what we say and the way we say it might completely change someone’s life. Words, what we say, and the tone we use, can have either a negative or positive effect on others.

It takes so little to give a word of encouragement to others and doing so can change their life. We have the power to empower others with a smile or a kind word.

Edward re-enrolled in my Music Theory and Piano Class the next semester. He worked hard, tutored other students in the class after school 3 days a week, and this time passed his final exam100% and got a genuine A+.

Today, Edward has a beautiful wife and 4 sweet children. He is a successful Dentist in Southern California and donates his spare time to abused children, helping them to find love, acceptance, and hope.

Many of the most important and life-changing moments of my life have occurred during times that I have been a teacher. The lessons I have learned have formed my character and shaped my destiny. Without them, I would be a very different person and in a very different place than I am today.

If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.

Words are the most powerful force available to humanity. Use them wisely. Sow the seeds of encouragement.

Practice saying kind words to others by first saying kind words to yourself.

Audrey Hunt

Questions & Answers

  • May I use this story as an example in an article I am writing?

    Please email me a copy of the article you are writing before I give you permission.

  • Would it be possible for me to include this article in a speech (programmed oral interpretation) I am doing? The topic is the power of words, and I think this would be perfect.

    This article has a copyright and cannot be duplicated. Please email me for more information.

© 2010 Audrey Hunt

Comments

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    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Finnegan

      Thank you for your kind comments. It's a pleasure to meet people like you!

      Jeff

      We all have the chance to change the course of a life. Words hold more power than riches or gold. Thank you, so much for reading my article.

    • Erudite Scholar profile image

      Jeff Zod 

      3 weeks ago from Nairobi

      I love this article.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Doneta

      Yes, we are all teachers and must be careful in choosing the words we speak and how we speak them. Thanks for including this valuable point.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Jeff

      Thank you for such kind comments. I appreciate and value your support. Our words hold such power and it's up to each of us to choose them carefully.

      All the best!

    • Doneta Wrate profile image

      Doneta Wrate 

      4 weeks ago from Michigan

      In a way, all of us can be teachers. Such opportunities pass many peoples way if they can just see them

    • Erudite Scholar profile image

      Jeff Zod 

      4 weeks ago from Nairobi

      Hi Audrey,

      It is always a pleasure to read your work. You are an amazing writer and a kind soul. Your articles are a blessing to everyone on HP. Thank you so much.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Patricia

      The highest calling is that of a teacher. We have the precious opportunity to change a life. It sounds like you are an example of making a huge difference in the lives of your students. The letters you receive from grateful families confirm what a beautiful teacher you are.

      Thank you for sending angels my way!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 months ago from sunny Florida

      As a teacher (now retired) I get it It never hurt over the years to offer to children the open heart that they many so sorely needed It has been an awefilled moment when I have gotten letters from former students and from their families (some of them just a few days ago)----thanking me for making a difference---I never thought of it that way ----I just was trying to give what children may have needed at the time Reading your article reinforces what a HUGE difference that teachers really Do make----unsung as they are----and again we do not do any of what we do for accolades Thank you so much for sharing this most heartfelt and powerful message with us Angels are once again on the way ps

    • Ruby Enclona profile image

      Ruby Enclona 

      4 months ago from Manila, Phillipines

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Doneta Wrate

      How nice to see you here. Thank you for finding my story inspirational.

      Blessings to you,

      Audrey

    • Doneta Wrate profile image

      Doneta Wrate 

      5 months ago from Michigan

      Totally inspirational. I very much enjoyed it.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Mary

      Thank you for reading my article and for your nice comments. Appreciate your support very much.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hello Hari

      Thank you for your participation and words of wisdom. Mentoring another human being is huge! I consider it an honor to teach another person. You are obviously the same way. Bless your heart!

      Namaste my friend.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 

      5 months ago from Bangalore

      Audrey, Student teacher relationship is divine and is always considered highest of all the other human interactions.

      Your story is inspiring and I am sure such incidents keep occuring to all sensitive professionals and such deeds have immense value for both.

      Kudos.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      5 months ago from Brazil

      Such a moving story. Thank God he decided to come to see you for his grade.

      Your willingness to help him has been multiplied by his helping others. This is a perfect example of how paying it forward can have exponential rewards.

    • wpcooper profile image

      Finnegan Williams 

      6 months ago from Cheyenne

      Wow, what a great story. I was genuinely moved and this is a great example of how sometimes little moments in someone's life can make a great difference.

      You are obviously insightful and caring and compassionate enough to understand that not all learning goes on in the classroom.

      I'm glad you made a difference in this person's life. This is a wonderful story.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      gyanendra mocktan

      Thank you, kindly, for sharing your lovely thoughts. We teachers can change lives, for the better, without even realizing it. I'm sure you do this with your students and don't even know it.

      "A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils."

      Ever Garrison

    • Gyanendra Mocktan profile image

      gyanendra mocktan 

      7 months ago

      You are a teacher who has done your job differently. Thank you for sharing your experience in touching and simple words. I am also a teacher. But I have not been able to put my experiences into words. You inspire me. Thank you.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Thanks for being here and for commenting.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Jackie

      So very nice to welcome you back again. I appreciate your visit and kind comments. Happy New Year, my friend.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      9 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Reread...and still beautiful.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Karen

      How wonderful that you are a teacher and in a position to help your students grow both educational and internally. Bless you, in your efforts. Thank you for being here.

      Hi Linda

      I'm glad you told me about your friend Karen. She is a treasure for sure. Thank you so much for sharing my story with her. You are beyond wonderful!

      Jason

      Thank you for sharing your kind comments. Words are really all we have for encouraging and inspiring others. I look forward to reading your hubs.

    • manunulat profile image

      Jason M Quinapondan 

      10 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I agree with how words can make or break someone. Thank you for this hub. It is a reminder for everyone to encourage others through our words. Keep writing and inspiring others through your hub Aud.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      11 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Audrey, the Karen who wrote to you is a dear friend of mine. I've known her mom and dad for 48 years. She is a treasure, as are you, and I had to share your story with her.

    • profile image

      Karen Molenaar Terrell 

      11 months ago

      I teach in an alternative high school - I can feel this with all my heart. I've got tears pouring down my face. Thank you for this.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      11 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Tanveen

      Thank you kindly for reading my story and taking the time to comment.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      11 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dianna

      Thank you so much for reading my story. Being a caring teacher, yourself, you realize the huge responsibility that lies before us. Giving a person hope costs nothing and can change the direction of a life. I'm grateful to have had this experience.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      11 months ago

      Your story touches the heart of every teacher. Your unselfish love changed the world for this young man and his family. God bless you for being such a caring person.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      11 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Linda

      Thank you for reading this and for your beautiful comments. We just never know how our words may change someone's life. It doesn't cost a thing to give someone hope.

      Blessings to you Linda

      Audrey

      Chitrangada,

      So nice to see you here again, my friend. Thank you for sharing your comments. They are full of wisdom and beauty.

      Peace and love to you and yours.

      Audrey

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      11 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Came back to read your beautiful and inspirational story once again.

      Such positive stories are always valuable and relevant and continue to remind us, about the lessons of humanity and kindness.

      The joy and satisfaction, one can achieve by giving someone hope, by making someone smile, is priceless and incomparable, to any other luxuries of life.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      11 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Oh Audrey, what an amazing story. God places all of us here for a purpose, but do we always follow through with the plan? So much sadness and pure love and beauty in your words. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Tanveen Senbhi profile image

      Tanveen Kaur Senbhi 

      12 months ago

      Excellent. You stated some very powerful ideas. I loved it.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      14 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Kisa

      Yes, however, this true story has a copyright. Please be sure to notate that I am the author. This protects both you and I.

    • profile image

      Kisa 

      14 months ago

      Hi, Audery

      May I Translate your story and post it into a digest of my language. It's insprinational :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      15 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Linda

      The spoken word creates such an impact on others. We never know when what we say may just change someone's life. Thank you for reading my story and for your kind comments. I wish you joy and peace each day of your life.

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 

      15 months ago from United Kingdom

      What an amazing story and an amazing teacher you are. I enjoyed reading your true story of changing someone's life. You are a very kind- hearted teacher that changed someone's life. You must be very happy you saved Edward's life that time when he lost all the hope in life. Well done Audrey, I applaud you. It just goes to show that we can help others with our kind words and encouragement.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      16 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Russell

      Thank you for sharing your heart-warming story. Truly, inspiring. And yes, we never know how powerful our words may be to someone else.

      Blessings to you and your dear wife.

      Threekeys

      We teachers, have been given a huge responsibility to guide, protect, and teach our young people. I believe, too, that hope is the miracle worker. Thank you for such beautiful comments. Thank you also, for being the magnificent person you are.

    • profile image

      threekeys 

      16 months ago

      What a inspiring story and what a story to make one reflect.

      Teachers can make or break a person. I am not a teacher but I always had the thought in the back of my mind that when we hope or expect the best from an other they will rise to meet or surpass that expectation. Hope is dismissed or undervalued. Hope is the miracle worker.

      Miracles are not for the few. Thankyou for letting us know we can experience miracles in our everyday lives. We need to hear more of these everyday miracles.

      Peace and Happiness to you Audrey.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      16 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Gregory

      Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my article. I love your words, "death and life are in the power of the tongue." How very true this is. Hope your day is all you hope for. Thanks, again.

    • Gregory DeVictor profile image

      Gregory DeVictor 

      16 months ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Audrey, your story was very touching and inspiring. It proves that death and life are in the power of the tongue. I am a former teacher, but was too immature back then to have done a meritorious deed like you did.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      16 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Geri,

      So glad to see you here. Only another teacher can understand the deeper meaning of my story. To teach another person is a huge responsibility and honor. Sometimes we must listen to our heart, instead of our head and I know you get this.

      The power of words can change a person's life, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. Thank you so much!

    • gerimcclym profile image

      Geri McClymont 

      16 months ago

      What a touching and inspiring story, Audrey, especially because it is a true story. Thank you for sharing this with us. I too am a teacher and can relate so much to your words, "Many of the most important and life-changing moments of my life have occurred during times that I have been a teacher."

    • profile image

      Russell 

      16 months ago

      Wonderful story Audrey... I had a store once where I made and sold organic face creams, lotions and such in Toronto. At the back of my catalogue I wrote 4 pages called, The Steps to a Wonderful Life. My wife would get many phone calls from people expressing their love of the words I wrote. We had a sign out on the street offering a free sample of our cream and when people came in my wife would put the sample and cream in a bag.

      One day a lady came in with a big smile and said to Marie-France that she had stopped by 2 weeks prior, "Yes I remember you." she said. Well that day I had decided to kill myself when I got home. She was drawn into the store she said by the sign and took the cream and catalogue and walked across the street to a coffee shop and read The Steps to a Wonderful Life and was so overwhelmed by the message she could not go through with her plans and wanted us to know this....

      Wow you never know the impact of what you put out into the world. We are made to love one another and I have, by my words on paper and from my lips, many times witnessed miracles.... Cheers Russell

    • profile image

      Russell 

      16 months ago

      Wonderful story Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      17 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Karen Hellier

      When I decided to come out with this story, I wanted it to make an impact on others. I learned a valuable lesson when I went with my heart instead of my head. Thanks for your kind words Karen. It means a lot.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 

      17 months ago from Georgia

      Audrey,

      This is an amazing story. I am so happy it turned out the way it did, and I am sure both you and Edward are as well. What an amazing thing you did for this young man. Thank you, not only for those words of encouragement you shared with Edward, but for sharing this story with the rest of the world. You have encouraged me just by reading it.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      17 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Akila,

      Thank you for your kind comments. I have no knowledge about this young man at all. I've often wondered about him. This is a true story which changed my life.

    • profile image

      Akila 

      17 months ago

      It is beautiful. You have used many techniques to create this. I just want to know is this a true story and is he still

      alive

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      18 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dream On

      It sounds like you've put in enough time trying to help this person. At age 26 he needs to take responsibility for his life. If he isn't listening to your advice, he honestly doesn't want it. He also has no right to tell stories that aren't true.

      You are kind, caring and loving. I'd say its time to let him figure it out, come what may. You've done enough.It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for someone. If he's able-bodied he needs to stand up to the plate.

      Trust your gut feelings.They will tell you whats best for you. Theyve never let me down. Keep me posted on what you decide to do andgod luck.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      19 months ago

      Being a teacher and watching many students come and go. Maybe you can give me a little insight. I work with someone who has no focus in his job. He starts off good and after the first half hour he quickly begins to make mistakes and then it is downhill from there. I end up carrying him for the rest of the shift. I have tried to find what he likes outside of work and see if I can keep him motivated. I found that he gets little sleep and is exhausted. He goes out with friends and stays out late even though he has to work the next day. I told him you have to be responsible and act as an adult. He is 26 and still lives at home. I am making some progress but I wonder how long do you keep helping someone before you say your on your own. It makes my job more difficult and many other people don't want to work with him. They put him with me. I remember the old saying (what doesn't kill me makes me stronger). I have worked hard in the past that is no problem. I have to be careful he is not taking advantage of my kindness. He has been working with me for over a month now and he also likes to tell stories that I found out aren't true. He is very likable. He always says he has plans for doing different things but he is all talk. Each time I try different approaches to reach the worker he can be. I reread your hub and some people are private and don't let you know what is really going on in their head. So I will give him more time. They recently moved him to another position. He is not doing that well there. I think management wants to give him a break. If he doesn't improve then he can be let go. I will feel guilty I couldn't help him. I think with all my years of experience I should be able to find a way. I find it easy to get attached to the idea to what are potential is not what or who we are. The summer is coming. That is our busiest time. When things go wrong it makes for a long, long day at work. Thank you for writing and sharing.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      19 months ago

      As I get older I find certain things interesting and tend to reread the same stories months later thinking maybe my thoughts or attitude has changed after the second reading. I really enjoyed your hub from beginning to end. When I first started to read the hub it is if it is a new story then the thoughts and words come back towards the end of the hub. A fantastic hub what can I say.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      20 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi David

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. I have goose bumps. I'll be in your hub neighborhood soon and come knocking on your door. Eager to read your hubs.

      Audrey

    • DipsoDave profile image

      David Hopkinson 

      20 months ago from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

      Wow, so very powerful. Thank you

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      20 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Annie

      I'm happy to hear that you found my story powerful. Thank you for commenting.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      20 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dora

      I like your comments. Thank you for being here. I value your support.

      Kathy Burton

      Yes, active listening, the power of words and timing can bring forth amazing results when supported by empathy. I take little credit for saving this young man's life. I believe a power much greater then my own was there to guide me.

      Thank you Kathy for your enlightening, kind, comments.

      Audrey

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image

      Annie 

      20 months ago from NewYork

      well said.. I enjoy this article..

    • KatWin profile image

      Kathy Burton 

      20 months ago from Florida

      Wow. I have tears. I know the power of words that spring from active listening. But it will never fail to give me chills when the power of timing converges with the other two. It takes the three to come together to save a life. What a gift you have. Thanks for sharing this story.

      Kathy

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      21 months ago from The Caribbean

      Audrey, you've taught us a lifetime lesson. Thank you for sharing.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      21 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      hossein

      Welcome my fellow teacher! So nice to see you here and thanks for your comments. Keep up the good work. You are 'making a difference' in the lives that you teach.

    • profile image

      hossein 

      21 months ago

      A wonderful and impressing story . I enjoyed it a lot. Since I am a teacher , I have had such experiences with some of my students.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      23 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Bala,India

      You have made an important point. Our youth need us to build their confidence more than ever. Thanks for your comments.

      Adebo orume

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my article. You have a good heart. God bless!

      Thish

      Thank you for appreciating my story. I love your comment. We all need to stop and think before we speak. Blessings to you.

    • Thish profile image

      Ohla 

      23 months ago

      Wow... So touching.. If all people in the world thinks like this, the heaven will be really on earth. Thanks !!

    • profile image

      Adebo orume 

      23 months ago

      I was deeply touch with such a story. Word are powerful for destruction and for construction. I pray God help me from now and teach me how to use words rightly to build life and change the world and make it a better place for others. Thanks once more for this wonderful story

    • profile image

      Bala,India 

      2 years ago

      Nice write up. Our youngsters should know that death is the only solution for the problem. Poor students!We have to inculcate in them confidence, love and patience. New life has been given to the boy. I appreciate.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      RTalloni

      Thank you for your kind comments - powerful and on target. How vital it is to think before we speak. I've been the recipient of harsh unkind words in the past. It devastates me and I never want to make anyone else feel this way.

      Thank you

      Enjoy this day

      Audrey

    • profile image

      RTalloni 

      2 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this incident online and for including that he has a family of his own to love, and to love him. You've related the experience with Edward beautifully, not a surprise from you. :) Thank you also for framing this in the context of the power of words. How easy it is to forget that truth and be careless! Making a positive and even life-changing/saving difference in people's lives with our words is something we should not take for granted.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dream On

      I've thought about this experience through the years and give thanks for following my heart instead of my head. As you've pointed out school can be tough for many students especially those that are bullied.

      Thank you for reading my hub and leaving such a great comment.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      2 years ago

      A story like yours is timeless. I am just reading it now. How true words are so powerful. You have changed one boys life Edward and the story continues to change lives. Thank you for sharing and being the kind person that you are. School can be a tough time for so many students. We all weren't cut out to be top of the class. For A students it is just another A. For a C or D student it is a dream. I am glad you followed your heart and gave the boy a break. You seen something that nobody else seen. Have a great night.

    • profile image

      inyang 

      2 years ago

      am moved.... to every one every where there us a purpose..

      true to the fact that life some times sucks... but it is false to think that u simply need to end it(that which you can not create)... i love this story

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dear Thish

      Thank you so much for your comments. And you are so on target. It seems that we are encompassed with terrible news day after day. It's a welcome relief to hear about life-changing positive stories. Appreciate your support Thish.

    • Thish profile image

      Ohla 

      2 years ago

      wow.such and amazing inspiring story. i shared it with my daughter too. When world is full of anger , hate and war.. this reminds me there is still hope for a better world.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Jackie

      This happened a long time ago but it remains so close to my heart. I learned such a valuable lesson from this experience. Thank you.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      What a beautiful story Audrey and it has to give you so much joy thinking about this young man and the life he has today giving back as you gave to him.

      We should all have a story to read like this every day...or better yet, have our own to tell about.

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      2 years ago

      Very inspirational

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Shyron

      I'm so glad you read my story. I've learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Thank you for being here.

    • profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago

      Audrey, this story had me crying. You are such a caring person.

      Blessings my dear friend.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Debangee

      Your comments are so touching. Thank you for being here my friend.

    • Debangee Mandal profile image

      DEBANGEE MANDAL 

      2 years ago from India

      Amazing, inspirational hub..worth reading it.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Rolly

      The words we speak carry a power house of influence. We never know how the phrases we speak and the words we choose may change the direction of someone's life.

      I learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Thank you for your example of love and support. It means everything to me!

      Super hugs back,

      Audrey

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Edward was dearly blessed with you having him in your class. God Bless you for being there for Edward. Those few words of encouragement impacted him in a profound way. We just live you to pieces girl... such a heart...

      Love from Canada

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      2 years ago from Dubai

      Edward is lucky to have you as his teacher. Your kind words saved his life.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Bella Allred 

      2 years ago

      That was beautiful, inspiring and very well written.

    • deepaliawasare profile image

      Deepali Awasare 

      2 years ago from Vadodara

      Such a touching experience Audrey..... Can totally relate to it as I am a teacher myself ..... Loved it ....very inspiring ... Will make me think twice before judging someone ...thanks

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Life isn't easy that's for sure. You make a good point about taking time to really listen to a kid. Thank you so much.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      lena rogers

      Teachers have a huge responsibility to influence students in a way that makes them feel special and loved. Thanks for your great comments.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Issac Sanchez

      You are so right to say that life would be so much easier if we were all a little nicer to others. Thanks for being here.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      emily chavez

      Yes, being bullied is abusive and destructive. Thanks for mentioning this. If we only knew the background of a person we wouldn't be so quick to be mean to them. You

      ve made a very good point Emily. Thank you.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Lexi

      You've said it well! Sometimes we need to look beyond the surface of peoples actions. Treating everyone like they are an A person would sure make the world a better place. Thanks so much for reading my article and for your wonderful comments.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Chelsea Ruiz

      Thank goodness for your friend. How kind of her to help you with your homework and to be there for you. Being a kid isn't easy is it? I hope you're doing well and please stay happy.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      jackson myers

      I'm sorry to hear that you've gone through some tough times like this. I appreciate your comments and hope my article was helpful.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Reyna

      You bring up a good point about the bullying. We really don't know what is going on in the mind of another person. Thank you for sharing your comments.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Kelsey

      When we speak to another person we just never know what the effect might be. It's so important to avoid making judgments about others. Thank you so much for your kind comments.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Angel Wence. The power of words can change a persons life. We never know when someone needs our encouragement just to get through life. You're making this world a better place by helping others. Thank you.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Nathan. Thank you for sharing your very helpful comments along with your story. You did a beautiful thing by going up to this person and talking to him. You were the first one to do that and now you're friends. Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We all need more like you in this world.

    • profile image

      Minnetonka Twin 

      2 years ago

      What a blessing that I came upon this moving story about Edward. Hope is powerful and you conveyed that beautifully.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      kandyce

      We each have a choice when we speak to another person. We can be supportive and compassionate or we can be direct, harsh and therefore destructive. Thank you for your kind comments kandyce.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Every word we utter affects someone, somewhere. We never know what the outcome will be. Thanks.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Johnny

      Thank you for sharing my story in your sermon. I appreciate your being here.

    • profile image

      jackson myers 

      3 years ago

      I think that life isn't that great. A teacher touches someones life without knowing how. If a kid is treated badly go talk to them. Try to make them feel better. Just listen to them they might feel better and you might make a new friend.

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