The conversation began with a compliment (he walked up and said to me "Shannon I think you're gorgeous." I was immediately struck speechless and my eyes hit the ground), which whenever I think about the way we met I remember how much impact we have with our words. I remember that a well-timed compliment can change someones life. Another time in my life an apology had the same effect on me. It wasn't something I sought or expected but it came to me in a free and sweet fashion and it changed the way I thought about significant things in my life.
I find a lot of relationship inspiration in the blog Today's Letters. I love how unabashedly the couple speaks of working on their relationship and they share what makes their marriage work. Every time I read the letters they write each other I remember the power of words and I tell myself to be kinder, speak more sweetly and listen harder.
When I contemplated what type of person I wanted my child to become I kept coming back to the notion that I want her to be kind to others. I think that there is less and less focus on kindness in our culture, in fact being "nice" can be seen as weakness, or undesirable. So many times I hear people "apologize" for their words in this way: "I'm sorry but that's the way I am" or "I am sorry but I am just a bitch." That isn't an apology it's a rationalization. And when I apologize during an argument I often find the time to attach my rationale for my comment to the apology. This isn't the type of apology I'd like to receive "I'm sorry but..." Usually when we attach a "but" you can throw away everything that came before the but and only listen to what came after.
So today 5 years after a compliment I want to commit myself to being as kind to Keenan as I am to those whom I work for.
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