I believe that if you have a chance to convey an important message, or a heartfelt one, then you are almost duty bound to deliver it. Be it a declaration of love, or simple words of kindness, they deserve to see the light of day, and the recipient needs to hear them. It could be a school lesson for a child or words of wisdom to a troubled teen. Once you miss the window for relaying a thought or message, its impact on a life, even your own perhaps is lost forever. If you think you should tell someone you love them, or if sentiments of regret or forgiveness invade your consciousness, that awareness is intended as a tangible thread of communication, to be woven into lives we all share. I believe that if you hear a stranger, lost on the street asking for the route to a place that you know, then you can and should show him the way. I believe that if a loved one is sick, or unsure, or unaware, then you must say the things that may heal or inform him. When in the hospital, before my mother passed away, I apologized for my infrequent visits and not being with her when I should have been, she held my hand and looked up with one last look and said, “honey, you done your best, and that’s pretty darn good.” To hear those words gave me not just a feeling of closure or forgiveness, but they renewed my spirit and strength to move on. It restored my faith, and let me know that my choice to put work or other needs before her needs were right, or at least ok. I believe that if you tell your child how to learn, what to read, your thoughts on life or events, then he may find his way to a better place in the world because of your words, and will remember who guided him there. Convey the pride you feel for those you look up to, because your mentors look for affirmation from you. Speak up, as thoughts and words take on a life of their own, as one person passes them to many others. Keep not to yourself that which you can share. Speak softly, but with earnest as you right a wrong, or plant a seed. I believe thoughts are the essence of being, strung together to form what we become to ourselves and to each other. Now, when I doubt myself in some endeavor, wondering if I’ve done all I could to help those around me, I remember my mother’s words. Words are the language of possibilities and there is no sweeter way to turn a thought into a deed than to give it a voice and an ear. And be it good news or bad, sweet nothings or sorrow, it will echo for as long as a memory. And I believe that will be long enough. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.