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SMALL WORDS, PROFOUND EFFECT


"The tongue has the power of life and death . . . " That may sound a bit extreme to you; a bit exaggerated. How could mere words kill anyone? But consider this. You’re probably familiar with Karen Carpenter, the popular singer from the seventies who died in 1983 of heart failure. Most people know that her heart attack was caused by anorexia. Basically, she starved herself to death. But what started it all? According to a 1988 CBS television movie, the "Karen Carpenter Story," her "fatal obsession with weight" began when a reviewer called her Richard’s "chubby sister". That little phrase was all it took to start her on a tragic journey of self-destruction. Now, obviously, she was a troubled woman to begin with. The author of that article didn’t cause her underlying psychological problems; he almost certainly had no intention of causing her harm. Nevertheless, those few words had a profound affect on her life.


Reference: USA Today, December 30, 1988, "Carpenter Story sings a familiar refrain," by Matt Roush. Citation: Proverbs 18:21, NIV.

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