Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Using Podcasts to Spread the Gift of Kind Words

I believe in the power of words. Words can build up, or they can tear down. They can be used to spread kindness, or used as a tool to destroy. I'd like to make the claim that words are meant to build. Build relationships, personal character, and even a future. Words can be used to make a difference. Even the smallest difference matters; like making someone's day by complimenting something about their appearance for example. As humans, we want to be acknowledged. We need to feel noticed, or else we feel like we don't matter. My team has worked hard throughout the semester to base our projects on the foundational idea that everyone matters. Wouldn't you know it, kind words are the most influential and empowering way to get everyone knowing how much they matter. Not to mention, words are the most cost-effective method as well!!

Angela Maiers is a huge advocate for the You Matter campaign. She is such an inspiration to anyone who follows her work. I stumbled upon Anglea's Ted Talk video called "You Matter" last year, and it literally gave me a new perspective. Her words were so real to me; they were speaking directly to my heart. For the days to follow, I would go out of my way to let my loved ones know how much they mattered to me. This caused a huge turn-around in many of my personal  relationships. I was so inspired by what Angela was saying in her video that I began thinking hard about what the words "you matter" really look like in our everyday lives.

When my team was asked to create a podcast, we thought that Angela's idea of You Matter would be perfect! We spent some time researching a little more about Angela Maiers and her work, and decided to use her as our inspiration! Kind words are the best way to show someone they matter.We didn't quite know how to organize our podcast, but we knew we wanted to keep the entire thing positive. We didn't want to talk about the negative effects of words, but instead focused solely on the positive effects. What we came up with was extremely powerful. Maybe it's due to the fact that by completing this podcast I was required to reflect on my own experiences with kind words, but this podcast refocused my mind on the idea that everyone matters. These days, I am back to letting my loved ones know that I love them every single day.

As someone who grew up being bullied at school, I've experienced how harmful words can be. Words can change someone's life. They can be the difference between happiness and depression, and in some extreme cases, between life and death. When used kindly, words can accomplish so much. These days, I look at words as gifts. They aren't things that we are forced to give, and we have the freedom to say whatever we want to say and when we want to say it. For most, giving the gift of kind words to people we love comes naturally, and somewhat easily. However, giving words of kindness to strangers might be a little more difficult. I want to challenge all of you to say something encouraging to a stranger today. Think of how words have made you feel, which emotion do you prefer? Build someone's day, don't destroy it. Choose your words carefully and kindly.

The other day, I was in Cup of Joe in Cedar Falls and I had the urge to let the manager know how much I loved this coffee shop. I also let her know how much I would miss it when I graduated. I wanted her to know how much I loved the atmosphere of their place, and the look on her face was priceless. I had just made her night. It seemed to be exactly what she needed to hear. Because of speaking a few kind and easy words I was able to make someone's entire night fill with joy. It was very powerful!

Change the world by giving your words! Remember, the best way to make your day, is to make someone else's!

1 comment:

  1. Chase,
    Thank you so much for sharing this post and your story! Words are powerful and can change the world if we use them in kind ways.