The new year has come and gone, and our New Year’s Resolutions may have already been broken or thrown away. But some things never change, and you don’t need a resolution or a new to do list to keep this in the forefront of your goals for 2017. Let’s think of these three words every single day.
Words Do Matter.
Many of you may remember a few years ago when I went on a brief tirade about “Enthusiasm with Respect.” Two columns in a row were written about this same subject. I heard from many of you and people still comment on those columns and recite them back to me. They must have hit home with many of you. Striking a chord and hitting a nerve was the goal of those words.
I enjoy mentoring all of you. I also absolutely delight in being your biggest and loudest cheerleader. You might be surprised to know that at least once a week I am at an event where I am asked what I do now. (It’s nice to be asked what “I” do, as over the years and at the thousands of events I attended with my husband, I often felt invisible as I stood beside him.)
I always tell people how great today’s spouses are — the senior spouses and the young spouses. You are great! I tell people that the future is bright as the military spouse world is populated by brilliant, young and enthusiastic spouses that I am proud to mentor and encourage.
I take this mentoring role seriously, so that is why I use this column to remind all of you that words matter. They matter.
There are several reasons why I chose to write about this particular subject:
1: I was speaking recently to a good friend who was being considered for a wonderful job. The process for this job included a background check of all of this person’s social media. And I do mean all! They went all the way back and actually read every single tweet or post. Words matter.
2: You may think you are safe as you hide behind your Facebook posts, but you are not. Words, both written and spoken, make an impact. They affect the reader in ways you may never know. I have seen many of you adversely affected by comments written on your Facebook page. It hurts my heart when I read how someone callously and casually made you feel terrible. Words matter.
3: The spoken word can have impact as well. As someone who has been outspoken her entire life, I know this. I used to wake up every morning and honestly whisper to myself, “Please keep your mouth closed today. Please think before you speak.” It may not have worked every day, but I tried. I tried hard. I speak before I think, which is not a good combination for me. I learned recently that I once told someone I love to “shut up.” What was I thinking? I am sure I was laughing and joking, but that was not how it was perceived. Yikes. I did not listen to myself that day; keeping my mouth closed would have been the way to go!
I hope all of you can learn from my many mistakes. In my effort to be positive, but also mentor this year, please remember that all words matter.
So here are my words: I am proud of all of you and proud to be a military spouse.
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