For your consideration…..

Language matters. The words we choose and choosing to speak them matters….makes a difference. I was reminded of several things as today’s message came in.

I was reminded of working for a domestic violence safe house. We always use the words survivor. We never use the words victim. Do you see how one word is HOPEful and the other steals HOPE? Words matter.

I cringe every political season when I hear the campaign ads. So many ads are designed to scare voters. They are designed to have people, especially those struggling economically, believe that they are doomed unless they vote for a person or party. It implies we have no choice in how our lives will grow. We are dependents rather than leaders of our own lives.

We are in charge of ourselves. Together with our Guidance we forge our own path. Not only do we not hear that enough, we don’t say it enough. We are all teachers and counselors.

This morning I was reminded of a moment yesterday. I remember thinking it was special at the time but promptly forgot it. Yesterday I was teaching a class of 3rd graders. Their teacher had a meeting in the building. The class had not been exhibiting their best behavior and she indicated that most subs have difficulty with her class. While she was still in the class, I let the class know what my expectations were. She left and I began with some question regarding their newsletter that had a lot of key information on it ie; what is the process for it in their house, who is responsible for it etc. One thing led to another and we were talking about personal responsibility and helping others as well. I am not sure what prompted my comment but I said,

“I know. I absolutely know that each and every one of you….all of you….no exceptions…..are capable of much more than you think. For sure, each of you can do much more than you think you can. That would mean that you should have big dreams because even if we didn’t completely complete them, we’d be much closer than we thought possible today? Right?”

I simply had thrown out that comment, I believe it, it was from my heart but I didn’t expect what I noticed. The room was utterly silent. I had their undivided attention. And they were thinking. I saw the words sink in. I saw their HOPE.

Most of these children come from economically challenged families. More than likely I would not get the same reaction in another school. But today, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Words matter. My words mattered. I have to think though, these students have not heard them before. They have teachers fighting for them making sure they get all of the information they are supposed too. Struggling students get lots of help. Yet, somehow the message that they need to dream bigger and that they are absolutely capable of more than they think, is not something they hear.

I relate that story because we are reminded today that we are all teachers. Our words matter. Pay attention to the words we choose. Make sure they are the ones that deliver HOPE. Then deliver them with the conviction of your heart.

That is the HOPE. And so it is.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, HOPE by HOPE action steps anyone can take….

-Meditate/pray…ask…”What is my next step for my highest good and the highest good of all?”

-Drink lots of water.

-Get outdoors and take in at least 10 deep breaths.

-Think about your language, words and delivery. You matter. Your words matter.

What made me smile yesterday…..

-Family having lots of fun on the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe.

-Lots of sunshine and a mild weather day.

-Yummy homemade soup for dinner.

-Wonderful 3rd graders.

Love, Blessings and Gratitude,

Rev. Chris


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