Making Your Words Matter

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“It’s Tracy, right? Do you remember me?”

I didn’t recognize her at first.  Because it had been seven years, her hair was longer now, and life was so busy back then that much of it escapes me.  But just as it was coming back to me, she shared her name and reminded me she had been my daughter’s preschool teacher.

Wow.  Preschool.  Said daughter is now in fifth grade.  Wow.

And so we chatted.  About the school.  About the kids.  About life now with no little ones in the house, and this crazy winter we’re having.  And then she said something, something that touched my heart.

“I have this little case, “ she began, as she pulled it out of her purse, “I put my coupons in it and such.”   I couldn’t figure out where this was going; didn’t understand why she’d want to share her coupons with me. But then she pulled out a card, one that looked vaguely familiar.

“And in it I carry this,” she continued, “It’s a card you gave me at the end of school.”  She opened it, showed it to me, “I pull it out and read it when I’m having a bad day.”

Wow.  There it was, my card, my handwriting, my words.  And I don’t even remember what I wrote.  But whatever it was, it meant something to her.  I could feel my heart warming.

Words matter.  We use them every day, but often toss them about rather carelessly.  I usually throw mine out into the universe with little thought as to where they will land. What I say often depends upon my mood, my circumstances, my current situation.  In other words, I don’t usually think before I speak. And I’m certainly not considering how my words will affect others.

In fact though, I do remember writing this card.  Not what I wrote, but that I wrote it with a purpose.  My little one had not enjoyed her first preschool.  I was so grateful that she liked this one, that she felt comfortable with her teacher, and I wanted to express that in my note.  And I’m so glad I did. Because obviously seven years later, those words, simply words I’m sure, still carry much weight.  They are alive, motivating a good teacher when she is having a bad day.  Words matter.

And while I’m happy to know I once wrote a card that meant something to someone, it was just one card.  How often have I missed the chance to share my gratitude, my happy, positive words with others?  I can tell you how often: all the time.

So quick am I to send a birthday card with only my name scribbled on it and no personal message.  It is second nature for me to ignore the grocery store cashier’s greeting, giving her but a nod or smile and no words in response.  There are countless days when I feel so grateful for my kids, my parents, my husband; but do I ever think to verbalize it?  Rarely.

It takes time and effort to look beyond yourself.  Time and effort to let those around you know you care, know you appreciate who they are and what they do for you. Be it a loved one or the grocery store cashier. But we must remember that it takes only a little time, and the effort is worth it.

Because there is a payoff for sharing your positive words, and it’s called joy. And  joy, when released, has a domino effect. 

I once wrote kind words to a preschool teacher.  She in turn, used her words to let me know how much mine meant to her.   And now, I write new words and I hope they will influence you. Because when you release your positive words into the world, maybe, just maybe, you’ll find they will come back to you. And when they do, they will warm your heart, even if it takes seven years.

About thewritertracy

Writer, Mom, Lover of books, travel, family, friends and fun.
This entry was posted in Faith, Family Life, gratitude, inspiration, kids, life lessons, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Making Your Words Matter

  1. Sabra Penley says:

    So encouraging, Tracy. Words do matter…the ones we speak, the ones we write…and the ones we don’t. I need to remember to be careful with my words–careful to share to bless someone and careful to withhold so as not to hurt. Thanks for sharing these words. They have blessed me.

  2. Sabra, it’s amazing how easy it is to just go through the day not thinking about what we are saying or not saying. I am trying hard to think before I speak but it will always be a battle for me! 🙂

  3. joyce welbaum says:

    Well said, Tracy! So often I think kind words, but do not verbalize them. I know kind words always mean a lot to me, so I need to also speak them more often. Kindness can become a permanent attitude that, like you say, brings a real return of joy. When I do speak kind words, I immediately feel better about myself, other people, and the whole word. Thank you for reminding us of this important quality!

  4. Words definitely matter. In this electronic age words are fleeting and seemingly temporary. I wish I was better about sending written words to my friends and family instead of emails or texts.

    • Diane,

      I think the words themselves and not how they are delivered are what matter most. And actually with the thought to do so, electronics make our words easier to deliver, make it easier to check in and share our positive thoughts with those we care about! 🙂

  5. Pingback: How to Squash Your Inner Britt McHenry | The Writer Tracy

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