"Watch Every Word"

After making a presentation this week, I was talking with several people from the audience. I noticed that another participant was hanging around in the room, seeming to be waiting for something. Once everyone cleared out and I was gathering my things, he approached me and said, "I want to talk to you about something you said." I wasn't sure how to take his comment as some people like to take issue with some things I say while others want to share a personal story or example.

I was surprised when he held up his phone, showing me the screen, and said, "Did you say this?" At this point I was nervous because I am guilty of making statements or sharing thoughts that pop into my head, and they sometimes make about as much sense as a bad Dr. Seuss rhyme. What he had captured me saying was, One neat way of looking at those things that are heavy to us is to realize they are not negative things, they are just life events. It wasn't exactly what I meant to say, but again, I sometimes engage my mouth before I engage my mind. I sheepishly said, "Yes, I am guilty as charged."

Imagine my surprise when he replied with, "I really needed to hear that today. In fact, I texted it to my wife right after you said it." He went on to describe two very difficult events that were occuring in his family and how he and his wife were really struggling. He said that one comment from me gave him a lift and he just wanted to thank me.

I share that story not because I said the right thing but because I was once again reminded of the tremendous need people have to hear positive, encouraging ideas. I have a friend that has as the signature at the bottom of their email, "Be kinder than necessary today. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle." We just never know when something we say to someone could offer the motivation they need to make a change in attitude or action.

What words could you share today that could make a difference in someone's life. Just remember... it may not be what you planned to say.