It’s not just what you say
“You can. End of story”
These few simple words were on the desk of one of our program’s administrative assistants and they made me stop and think.
To her, these are motivating words. She’s telling herself that she can overcome whatever mental block, doubtful inside voice or obstacle that is preventing her from achieving her goals (whether work related or not). They are beautiful and motivating.
What made me stop and think however is how these words would come across if I was the one saying them to her.
Think about it for a quick second. I’m her boss’s boss (just giving you perspective here, not being arrogant or boastful). If I were to say to her:
“You can. End of story”
How would she receive it?
The answer to that depends on the kind of leader one is, the context in which the words are spoken and the tone and body language by which they are delivered.
I can say them with authoritative vigor and she’d feel stressed and belittled.
I can say them with a nurturing tone and supportive candor and she’d feel valued
The words are the same but their weight and impact varies drastically
Have a blessed Friday
“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” -Aldous Huxley
I have been trying to live by this quote ever since I read it over 10 years ago.
It's hard; Especially when you account for the emotional toll of an experience (positive or negative) and for the continual unfolding of hidden, nuanced and missed meanings that we only gain with time and further experience. I still revisit experiences from years ago and if I am being truly honest and introspective with myself, I find a lot more meaning than what I had originally thought. And that is the beauty and the brilliance of this quote.
We may experience something and file it away
We may experience something and ride that high we got from it until we no longer can
But true growth come from revisiting, not re-experiencing, such milestones in our lives and trying to understand the layers upon layers of meaning they may entail.
Grief is a funny thing.
The breadth of its intensity;
The randomness of how, when and in what way it materializes;
The absolute lack of respect it has to one’s state of heart or mind.
Sometimes I’d be washing dishes and my call to my siblings letting them know our dad has passed plays in my head.
Other times, the smell of heat and humidity brings me back to a nostalgic moment in my childhood and leaves me with a sense of sorrow over simpler times
And then many times it belies the smile I wear throughout my day
It has no rhyme,
abides by no law and
is in full control of how brief or how long it decides to visit
We all react to it differently,
deal with it differently,
express it differently,
but it remains the same;
An invader that pillages one’s heart and mind
Palestinian, Muslim, American, Husband, Father, Academic, Pharmacist, Coffee Addict, Nutella phene, Pseudo writer, Soccer player, former Canadian, Community servant, Pinch hitter imam, interfaith ninja, Intellectual vigilante, and the undisputed KING of snark