There is a story about a man who had led a very chequered life. He died and found himself inside the gates of Heaven. He said to the gate-keeper ‘How come I arrived here? I wasn’t even sure that there was a heaven, and even now that I know there is, I’m surprised you let me in, because I did a few bad things in my time’.

The gate-keeper said ‘It was for something you said to a young boy many years ago, and you have probably even forgotten what it was. But what you said had such a positive effect on that young man that he went on to achieve great things and be a positive influence on everyone he came in contact with.  It was because of this that God told me to welcome you in.’

Of course, we don’t know how realistic the story might be, but we do know that we can have a huge effect on people by the things that we say, and by being an example to others by our actions.

There has been so much in the news lately about bullying, particularly in the social media, but have you noticed how the tide is turning? People are speaking out against all forms of bullying and putting people down. The recent sacking of two X-Factor judges is a prime example of the fact that such treatment of others is no longer acceptable.

So let us join the crusade against bullying, be friends with everyone, give good advice where we can, and help make the world a better place. One kind word can go a long way in achieving this.