Nathanial Garrod

Words Matter

Many things have happened within the past few days that have me thinking about words.

Words, while not the sole manner of interaction humans have, are our main effort to communicate thoughts and ideas. I have come to a deeper understanding of this through several interactions and observations since the beginning of the weekend.

Scene One: While with one of the professional staff from my internship site, we drove to a grocery store in the evening. When we pulled in to the parking spot, there was a car with a female passenger in it. We speculated as to why the woman stayed in the car while the person she was with did the shopping. My colleague imagined a scenario where the woman in question had perhaps had a rough day or just received difficult news. I found myself wondering quietly how much different this strangers day would have been if someone had said something nice.

Scene Two: While texting a friend, I carelessly share an opinion which I have rather strong feelings about. Never having shared this opinion before and not thinking too much I adamantly and unnecessarily stand by my opinion, instead of supporting my friend.

Scene Three: The current series is “At The Movies,” where they show clips from recent-release films, then discuss the faith lesson that is related to the film. This weeks film was “We Bought a Zoo” starring Matt Damon who plays a father who… buys a zoo. His young teen son is at first very upset about the transition. One of the clips shown was the father and the son in an argument one night. A few clips later was the resolution of that conflict – the father and the son sitting and talking things out.

As I have sat and thought through my weekend these individual bits come together to form a general theme.

Words matter.

We only have so long in our lives, and our lives are marked by the things we say and do. Not only that, but our lives are marked by the correlation of the things we say and do.

In our finite amount of time, we should be saying things to others that life them up, that encourage them, that support them. Yes, there is a time for criticism, not everything is always rosy and perfect, but criticism should be supportive not ablative.

We all have a few minutes of time in the space of our day, time to send a text message, leave a wall post on Facebook, throw out a Tweet, or write a recommendation on LinkedIn.

The question is, how will you make use of your words today to make a difference?

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This entry was posted on July 16, 2012 by in Faith, Student Affairs, Thoughts.