Scrabble tile files #4

Here’s our family ‘old school’ scrabble tile virtue to focus on this week:
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A-z of Gratitude: W is for Words

Words. They shape, Tear down, build up and can change the atmosphere in a room. Words can make us laugh or cause tears to well up in our eyes.
When we have our head stuck in a great book, we can become so engrossed in the written words that we are oblivious to the spoken words around us.

I love words. Books. Letters. Facebook updates that make me giggle. Friends sending crazy text messages just to make me smile. Words from a friend that come at the right moment to encourage, inspire or challenge. Small clusters of words from little mouths that hold more power in my life than the most grandiose monologue from the most acclaimed minds on the planet…”I love you, Mummy.” “I need a cuddle.” “Please, will you play with me?”

Words are free, but they are worth their weight in gold. I want mine to count. I want my words to water lives, not suck them dry. I want my words to leave a fragrance, not a stench. I want my words to propel others, not depress them. I want my children to one day shower their own children with words of love and affirmation, because that’s what their normal experience of child/parent relationship has been. I want to correct them with love and calm, rather than screeching and exasperation. Words are so powerful it blows my mind. We basically have super powers. Our words can be used for good or evil. Spiderman has webs, Superman can fly, our secret weapon… Our words. They stick, so we must be careful with our words. It can take years for the sting of words to heal. On the flip side, kind words are free yet they deposit something of great worth into a life.

My husband would say I love words a tad too much, or maybe that’s just the sound of my own words. So I shall end with words of those wiser than I…

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are endless.”
Mother Theresa

“By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.”
Sir Winston Churchill

“Kind words are like honey- sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” 
King Solomon, Proverbs 16:24

A-Z of Gratitude: O is for Opportunities

Opportunity knocks…everyday, many times. In fact, opportunity is a persistent knocker on the door of our lives, waiting for us to open up and say “Welcome!”

Some opportunities may present themselves as a once in a lifetime- a loud, earth shattering experience that demands our attention at once! Others are much more subtle and these can be overlooked while we look out for the next life changing opportunity. These are, however, few and far between. These can distract us from the opportunities that are more frequent and more likely to change a life- the everyday moments.

Opportunities don’t always come to our attention at opportune times. Ironic much?

Helping someone when you’re in a hurry.
Assisting a co-worker while your own deadline is fast approaching.
Taking a phone call when your favorite tv show is about to start. (I’m so guilty of passing this opportunity by!)

More often than not, the everyday opportunities to offer a helping hand to someone else come at very little cost to us.

I had an opportunity to leave work a few moments early today. I also had an opportunity to stay and help with the clean up. I decided it would be much more rewarding to do the latter. It cost me just ten minutes of my life.

What would it cost us to return a shopping trolley for an elderly citizen?
What would it cost to thank our co-workers for their contribution?
What would it cost to make a meal for a new mum?

It costs humanity so much when we chose to ignore the smallest of opportunities to be kind, to be generous, to be encouraging. I know it sounds idealistic and fluffy, but it’s true and it works.

Change the world, take one opportunity at a time.