In 1975, Chuck Shepard, candidate for Class Officer of Stockbridge High School, knew this would be a moment of destiny.
The right word at the right time would propel him into Stockbridge infamy.
Being a freshman at the time, this was also a pivotal moment in my own life.
It was from this speech I began to understand the power of words.
Chuck began his speech with a line which I have quoted often.
He looked out over the cafeteria filled with students and confidently said, “Personally, I do not think I am that good looking. But what’s my word against a thousand others.”
What was said in the speech after that opening line did not matter.
The election was his.
Two years later, I was honored to be asked to help craft a speech to be given by Kris Bonner, a candidate for Class President of Stockbridge High School, Class of 1977.
Kris, smart, athletic and good looking began his speech this way.
“Good afternoon. I would like to thank the staff and faculty of Stockbridge High School for sponsoring this event and for being here.
I would also like to recognize the students of the rising Senior Class of 1977.
The A students, the B students, the C students, the D students…..and…..my friends.”
Obviously the room was filled with F students and failures.
Kris had reached his key demographic.
The students stood to their feet and cheered, the staff and faculty smiled, and “That,” as they say, “is that.”
The speech continued and the election was over.
At times we each choose the right word at the wrong time and the wrong word at the right time.
However, the right word spoken at the right time is wonderful.
It feels right.
It is right.
Choose your words carefully.
Words are power.
Power can kill and power can heal.
Use your power carefully.
“How wonderful it is to say the right thing at the right time.” Proverbs 15:23 (TLB)