What You Do and Say Matters


It was time to go to the doctor.  His eyes were red.  His nose was a faucet and the sneezing was continuous.  My son, Jonas, had never had allergies before, but clearly something was going on.  Despite it all, he was his typical happy-go-lucky self.  As we approached the desk of the receptionist, I didn’t get a warm and comfy feeling.  I got a terse “Who are ya seeing?”  I heard a huff and a puff as she pecked at the keyboard.  And then Jonas looked at her with his red poofy eyes and light-hearted spirit and smile and said “What’s your name?”  This changed her world. She replied with her name and it was as if she snapped back into reality.  She admitted she wasn’t feeling good and that was the first time she smiled all day.  She thanked Jonas.

One moment. One simple question.  One simple smile.  (Okay, and maybe the dimples on a two-year-old, curly-haired blonde).  But, ultimately, it was one human yearning for  connection and reaching out in a way that altered the other’s day.

What we say and do matters.

I began reflecting on my own life.  Are there moments in time where time stood still for just a moment because someone impacted me in a small, but profound way.  Sure, there were times like that. Here’s one of many:

I am proud of you,” was not a phrase I heard often.  Because of the root system of those around me, I really was left to navigate through ups and downs of high school and life by myself….along with a key mentor, my coach.   Because I was immature, lacked guidance from home in how to navigate through life, and still hadn’t shifted my mindset to be completely healthy yet, I struggled through high school basketball, even considered quitting at one point.  Through discussions with my coach/mentor, I battled through and got a taste of parental guidance.  Following the last basketball game of the season, I was walking to the bus for the return ride home.  My coach caught me, looked me straight in the eye and with such conviction said “I am proud of you.”  I can still feel to this day, the feeling I had from those five words.

Then, I started thinking, how have my words and actions impacted others in my life? Here’s a couple that come to mind.

  1. In college, I was a sports and news reporter for the local paper.  At the time, I was thinking I was going to be a high school teacher and softball coach.  I began writing a sports editorial for our paper.  Looking back, that was about me.  I wanted to share some thoughts and knowledge about the subject. I wondered if people would read my stuff and what they would think. And, one day, I received a three-page hand-written letter from a coach who had retired from the local school district.  He replied to much of what I had written in my editorials and then thanked me. My writing was rekindling something in him that was his passion and he was connecting with it again.  My editorial was not just about me.
  2. I used to coach a competitive softball league for high school girls. One of my parents, out of the blue one day approached me and said thank you. I assumed it had to do with coaching her daughter, but it did not.  “Thank you for all the running you do.  You inspire me and now I am running, too, and I feel great!”  She went on to explain that she would see me out running through our small town, which in turn caused her to do some reflecting on her life.  I thought my running was just about me.  It was not.

Here’s what I know to be true. Our words and our actions, impact others.

That makes sense right?  It doesn’t take much to understand that.

But, here’s the thing…

What if we lived every day, every moment knowing that our words and actions impact others in profound ways? 

Would we change how we walk?  What we say?  Whether we smile at others?  Whether we call someone by their name?   Whether we lace up our shoes and get outside to run?  Whether we express gratitude to others?  Whether we extend grace? Etc, etc, etc.

Your life matters. It matters every second. And, not just for you. It’s about you, but it’s also bigger than you.


About Annie Palmer

Wife. Mother. Learner. Coach. Becoming better today than I was yesterday and better tomorrow than I am today.

Posted on September 5, 2015, in awakening the sleeping giant, Before LifePlan, Continued Growth, Life Purpose, Post LifePlan and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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