Sticks & Stones & Words

I knew who he was from across the room. His work had landed him in the newspapers many times. I greeted Jim (no, not his real name) and told him who I was and that I was happy to meet him. He nodded. How nice. He was busy on his phone. I knew from the papers that he was no longer in the same position and I asked what he was doing now. He stayed engaged with his phone (I could see that he was tweeting and by his demeanor and laser focus I assumed that this must have been of Pentagon-like importance). He gave me a three-word answer. Yes, three words. I gave Barbara Walters a run for her money that night as I tried to get to know this man but he couldn’t have been less interested. I actually think that if he could have yawned he would have. Without saying much, I was dismissed.

“I met Jim tonight,” I told my husband.

He had also read the papers over the years (he’s very astute that husband of mine). “Oh yeah! What’s he like?”

“He’s another muckety-muck with a muckety-muck job who thinks he’s too important for people. He didn't ask me one thing about myself. Just walked away.”

“Maybe you used the word muckety-muck and that’s why he walked away.” Hubby is astute and funny.

As I have traveled as a speaker I had often heard of Sara Trollinger and the campus for hurting teens she founded in Orlando called House of Hope. The first time I met Sara she said, “It is so wonderful to meet you.”  She then asked where I lived, what I did, if I was married and had children and said, “That color is so pretty on you.” In just a few minutes I knew that I was important to Sara. I mattered. Her words were genuine and she was gracious and generous in spirit.

When Sara asked me to be a board member for the House of Hope I said yes because her belief and love for at-risk teens is contagious.

Like Sara, we all have it in us to dole out daily doses of love and goodness and even healing.

We all have it in us to bless and be kind or to forgive or offer mercy.

We all have it in us to...

  • encourage
  • belittle
  • compliment
  • criticize
  • hold out hope
  • pull the rug out from under
  • abuse
  • restore
  • care
  • show interest
  • disregard
  • turn up our noses.

It’s through these daily doses that our lives collide and sometimes in that collision, we are able to chip away at or pull down completely. We are also able to help someone on her feet again or give a second or even a seventh chance. 

Pick a word... any word...

If our words are toxic, we poison someone.

If our words are beautiful, that beauty lives on in someone.

If our words condemn, we tear away a little bit more of someone.

Our spoken word (or like Mr. Muckety-Muck, even the unspoken word) just doesn’t say something about us, it does something to someone else.

What will your words or lack of them speak today?

Inspired, challenged, encouraged... someone else might be too! 
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