Sometimes I read or hear words that make a huge impression on me and change the way I view the world. Sometimes these words come from a well-spoken professional person and sometimes they come from one of my grandchildren. Sometimes these words are the result of a glowing spiritual moment and sometimes they come at the end of a tough disagreement.
Sometimes I understand the words and their meaning immediately and sometimes they require days and days of thoughtful study. Sometimes it even takes years for the full depth of the meaning to become clear.
I love how words affect people. I love how words can effect change and growth and maturity. I love how language can make things happen – good and bad, negative and positive, constructive and destructive.
Words are powerful. They have strength and the ability to change the course of history. They should never be used casually or haphazardly.
Words can harm, hurt and scar people. Once used, they can never be taken back. And they will be remembered for a lifetime.
Words can also heal, mend and save. They can repair broken relationships, friendships, families and nations. They can bring hope to those who are in despair, joy to those who are sad, and peace to those who are in distress. And they will be remembered for a lifetime.
I really love words that make me think and question and keep me on my toes. I really love words that remind me to be grateful and be humble and think of others. I really love words that make me laugh.
I especially relate to the words of John F. Kennedy, “If not us, who? If not now, when?” These words speak to me as an elder, as a woman, as a leader in my family.
I have a commission to teach, by word and by example, the younger generations how to live and die well, how to deal with the good times and hard times with dignity and grace, and how to become a good, productive member of the community.
I have no time left to waste in doing my job as the matriarch of my clan. The right time is always now.
This job is not easy and takes an entire lifetime to accomplish. You must look for inspiration in the words and actions of others. You must set the bar high by always looking for the best in the world around you.
And definitely you must fill your head with strong positive words – words that challenge, uplift, lead and strengthen you.
The world is speaking to you – listen carefully.