Words Are Gifts…
Last week, the Winning Futures mentor program at Warren Mott High School concluded for the school year. During this celebration, we presented the students with awards about their positive qualities and how they have flourished during the program. Winning Futures impresses upon the mentors throughout the program that words are gifts and are more meaningful to the students than any material items we could give them. This couldn’t be more true. The students beamed with pride while they were given their awards, and some even had tears in their eyes.
Vice President and Program Facilitator, Laurie Tarter also presented each mentor with a word that represents who they are as a person and explained why she assigned that word to them. Lastly, the students were given the opportunity to say a few words about what the program and their mentors have meant to them. What the students said to the group was absolutely beautiful and left all of the mentors without any doubt that we had made a positive impact in their lives. As a mentor, there is no greater gift than this. This is one of the few opportunities I have experienced where people get to hear good things about themselves and the impact they have had on others. Most of the time, these types of praises are said at funerals after it’s too late for people to hear it.
In March, I threw a “Gratitude and New Beginning” celebration not only to mark the next phase of my life after my divorce, but also to show gratitude to the people who provided me such tremendous support and kindness during the most difficult time in my life. I said a few words about each attendee in a speech and got very positive feedback from many people about what it meant to be acknowledged. Many of us assume that the people in our lives know what they mean to us and when they are doing a good job. Whether they know it or not, it’s still nice to hear it. Actions may speak louder than words, but words have a very powerful impact. If it’s been a while since you’ve told your family members, friends, or co-workers/employees the impact they have had on you or what they mean to you, take some time now to give them the gift of your words either verbally or in a card or email. We never know what tomorrow holds, so don’t wait until it’s too late.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Theresa
“Our words have creative power. Whenever we speak something, either good or bad, we give life to what we are saying.” – Joel Osteen