Words. We’re taught from childhood that they don’t always matter. If a mean boy or girl bullies you with words, we’re told – “They’re just words – forget about it.” But, words do matter. So, do actions. And, so do videos. They all matter. They all shape your views and beliefs. They influence your decisions.

As our country comes off a very difficult week, we ponder. We think. What words should we say.

We challenge you to think first. My 8-year-old son recently came up with a new line to help you bite your tongue. He calls it “flop your thought.” How fitting and how timely. Flopping your thought is more important than ever.

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Imagine being a police officer living in fear of being shot. Imagine being an African American living in fear of also being shot. Imagine being an American-born Muslim who constantly is scrutinized. Imagine being the families of any one of these shooting victims. You can only imagine, and you can’t personally feel their type of fear or pain.

Now is not the time to be slinging words carelessly. Using words to blame one side or another doesn’t change the past and doesn’t help the future.

What we can do now is choose our words. We can choose to spread love. We can choose to spread kindness. We can choose to spread understanding.

It all starts with our words.