Today has been a frustrating day. My hubs was having computer issues, so he had to steal my laptop in order to work. This meant the thousand things I needed to finish on my own to-do list weren’t going to happen. For a while, I cleaned my house till I finally got the idea to crash my mother’s house and use her computer. I realize now as I cross items off my to-do list that our situations are all about perspective. I could have moped all day, irritated to not have my computer, or I could look at the bright side. So, here’s what I’m thankful for in the midst of my frustration:
- First world problems: I have a computer, a house, electricity, food, health, safety.
- My mother: She welcomes me into her home whenever I want. Not only that but she entertains my children while I work.
- My mother’s home: It’s just around the corner, a mere 1 minute drive or a 10 minute walk.
- I’m able to worry about things like crossing off items on my to-do list rather than where I’m going to find my next meal.
- My house is clean; my laundry is folded: I couldn’t get my computer work done, so I found other things to do.
Tell me, what are you thankful for today? Is there a frustration in your life that you can look at through new eyes and with new perspective?
How many of us have heard the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Seems like pretty common knowledge to me. So I’m amazed at how many people don’t listen to this sage advice.
Last year, I had a friend who moved away. I have been working with her new school to set up a Skype session. (If your school is interested in having me Skype with your classes, contact me here.) In the course of our interactions, I received a note from Mrs. R, a teacher there. She’d heard of an 8 year old young man who was interested in writing and wanted to get involved in his school’s creative writing team. In this email, she relayed his story: The deadline was fast approaching, he got busy and ended up writing his piece quickly and perhaps not to the absolute best of his ability. But he turned it in and hoped for the best. After turning it in, the teacher who received it (Not Mrs. R) essentially told him it was crappy and he shouldn’t have even tried.
I was appalled. First off, the boy is 8 and even if it was written hastily, it was written. Imagine the self-motivation an 8 year old must have to even take a chance to participate in a creative writing group. What kind of teacher says those kinds of things to a student? It doesn’t make sense. Secondly, the boy wants to write! We should be encouraging that!
So, Mrs R. contacted me. She asked if I’d shoot him a message to encourage him.
Absolutely!!! So I did. I wrote up a little note telling him not to give up, to work hard and give writing his all. Later that week I received a message from this boy and his mom, thanking me for taking the time to encourage him.
It’s so easy. Our words have power. They have power to build up or tear down. We just need to decide how we’re going to use the words we’re given. That’s why I write.
I have strong opinions on subjects and could easily go off on rants. (Imagine that.) But I work really hard to say and write things that are going to build people up. Yes, they may make my readers look at the world a little differently. That’s the goal, but I can do so in a way that doesn’t tear people down.
So tell me, do the words you write or say build up or tear down? Do you encourage or discourage? Are you even aware of the power of these things we create with 26 letters of the alphabet?
You have influence whether you want to or not … whether you realize it or not. How are you going to use that influence?