Sticks and stones may break your bones…
But bones heal.
Your words will stay with me forever.
The scars you cannot see.
The beauty and power you’ve granted to me.
The insecurities I’ll never forget.
Words can make you feel.
It’s how we share emotions—how we express anger, hate, love, excitement, confusion, passion, frustration.
Sometimes, one slip up can break relationships. Sometimes, the right sentence can change the world for you. Sometimes, 3 simple words, when arranged together properly, can be one of the most powerful phrases you use. And sometimes choosing silence is more powerful too.
Sticks and stones can break our bones, but words can do much worse.
But words can also do much more.
Less is more.
My acting teacher in high school, who I deeply looked up to, would always tell us:
“Move only to improve on stillness; speak only to improve on silence”
Every action needed to have intent behind it.
Because when you are on stage, in front of the whole world, everyone can see you.
Everyone can tell when you are lying to them–when you are being disingenuine.
In life, you are the actor, the world is your stage, and the audience is everyone around you, so make sure you live with intent.
On that note, today I watched “A Quiet Place” starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.
A great movie. The child actors are very impressive, and John and Emily truly show a lot of emotion and love.
Oh, and it’s a great example of “less is more” and speaking only to improve on silence.
Is it weird that I cried–like really bawled–during a horror movie, and not because it was scary, but because it was emotional and beautiful?
Go watch “A Quiet Place”
I think one of the worst things about modern education is our obsession with numbers and test grades.
I know for a fact that some people get 4.0s (perfect grades) but that doesn’t necessarily reflect their knowledge or proficiency in certain subjects, because they picked easy courses and lenient professors who are often easy graders to get perfect grades.
On the other hand, some of the smartest people I know hover below at mid 3.0 range but take challenging courses and are very intelligent–particularly the engineering students.
Our system makes us choose between good grades or actually learning and getting challenged. I know because I am in the midst of a stressful course registration and I’ve had to consciously think about whether or not I want to take a certain course that I am not interested in, from a professor who freely hands out easy A grades (anecdotal evidence), or a tough philosophy course from a knowledgeable professor.
And I chose knowledge.
I chose to take the challenging course that I know will be very difficult, and will ruin my current “perfect” 4.0. But I think that’s okay.
Afterall, the path of least resistance is a paradox.
Adam Grant did an experiment in his book “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives our Success”
He asked employees of a company what % of the workers do they believe steal/have stolen from the company?
He found that people who often answered this question with high %’s, believing their colleagues were thieves, generally meant that that specific employee had a higher % of stealing from the company. Their thought process was this:
“I often steal from the company, so other people must do it!”
People project bad behavior and poor qualities onto other people when they have the similar qualities. The cynical individuals believe that other people are just as cynical.
Are most people bad people? Do people really generally suck? Or are you just project your own suckiness on other people?
Try to see the good in other people first, before you see their bad qualities–because those bad qualities might not exist.
In investments, the younger you are, the most risk you are meant to take.
In life, the risks you take are what builds character and personality. It’s how we grow.
That’s advice given to us from wiser, educated people who have more life experience.
They say the greatest risk in life is to not take any risk.
Perhaps we should listen.
Otherwise known as one of the quickest ways to scare someone through a text by making them irrationally invent scenarios that could follow that message.
Also another example of why short, concise, messages, filled with intent and straightforwardness, can be very powerful.
One thing that we can always hold true to every person in this world is that we are connected by this plague that we call “problems.”
Life’s problems are like weeds; after you pull one out, another will sprout just a few feet away.
We created social media apps so we could solve the problem of connecting with other people.
Now we have this problem of not knowing how to disconnect.
We invented elevators so we could solve the problem of climbing up several flights of stairs faster.
Now we have this problem of everyone taking the elevator, evening if it’s just to go up one level.
Cars provide faster transport. Now we need to solve the issue of the many car-related deaths around the world.
More productivity of food, and now we have overconsumption and obesity while developing countries suffer.
We solve one thing, and the very act of providing a solution will create another issue.
The problem with problems is that there will always be problems to solve.
So how can we fix them all?
Maybe we don’t. Maybe we can’t.
Maybe that’s okay. Maybe the best we can do is to offer our best.