Sunday, April 15, 2012

Words, Words, Words

"Words, they say you nice." -- created by Katie Lewis

Oh, words.  You have been on my mind.

When spoken with love and kindness and humility, you do so much good.  When spoken out of spite and anger and insecurity, you bring so much hurt.  It makes me sad just to think about that.  So instead I've been trying to make a mental list of the people I've known in my life who I always always always love to be around.  They all have something in common.

Words, they say you nice.  They don't use you to cut people down.  They use you to build up greatness in people.  They use you to leave everyone and everything better than they started.  These are walking, talking boosts of confidence.  They are love embodied.  They are cheerfulness in its most tangible form.  They make the coziest family and the truest friends.  These people, words, they say you nice.

I call them on the phone and they don't waste any time asking me how I'm doing, what I'm up to, what I need.  It's like they have love just pouring out their ears.  And their lips.  I see them at the grocery store and as I walk away from our greeting there's a new spring in my step.  They didn't notice how tired and haggard I look.  They noticed my new shirt.  My cute shoes.  The fact that I got my baby dressed in something that sort of matches.  I see them at a party and I feel so... included.

I noticed this a long time ago.  I noticed how nice they say you, words, and how much I love to be near them any chance I get.  I noticed how they don't do all the talking.  I noticed how they leave a trail of beaming, happy people in their wake.  And deep down I aspired to be like them.

Words, I try to say you nice.  I try to ask people how they're doing.  I still interrupt them a lot.  I'm not very good at it yet.  But I'm trying.  I think about what words I'd want to hear if I was having a hard day.  And then I say those.  I try to think about how it must feel to be them.  And I try to listen more.  I'm a bad listener, but I'm working at it.

Words, one time I heard you get used bad.  It was a long time ago.  I sat and ate lunch with the girls in seventh grade.  They used you mean.  It wasn't about me, but it was mean.  I sat with the boys after that.  They used you funny and silly and sometimes they used you too much to talk about going to the bathroom, but the boys didn't use you mean.  They used you nice.  And when they said you they meant what they said.   I really liked that.

Words, you know that moment when you know someone's about to say something they'll regret and then they say it?  I hate that.  I hate the hurt.  I hate the hurt that happens then and the hurt that keeps on happening over and over again for a long time afterward.  It's sad to think about.  It hurts to think about.

Words, you mean a lot.

I think about the way people use you to talk about other people who aren't around to hear.  I hope they wouldn't say those things if they were there to hear them.  I wish they wouldn't say those things anyway though.  Nobody wants to hear how somebody doesn't like somebody else.  It makes you like them less, too.  And it makes you wonder if they say those things about you when you're not around.  Words, I'm sorry you have to hear that.  I don't like it either.

Words, you know what I like?  I like when I'm talking to somebody and we're talking about how much we like somebody else.  We talk about how much fun they are.  We talk about how their children play so nice. We talk about how we want to be like them.  And then I like to sneak away later and tell that person some of the nice things we were saying about them.  Words, you light up like fireworks, then.  You light up like love.

Words, I love the way the littles use you.  They say things that make sense in their heart.  They say things true.  They tell the world, "I love you."

Words, I want to do that too.


Kathy Haynie said...

This. Is. Awesome.

I've had a l-o-n-g day, and this lifted me. Thank you! You are one of the best writers I know.

Sarah Steele said...

Wow...this is funny, because I've been thinking a lot about this topic the past few days. How very much power words have; how good I feel when people use them to uplift, and how yucky it feels when they are negative. And also how I'm always interrupting and interjecting, and the message that sends... I actually told Andrew right after you guys left Saturday that I hate this about myself, and want to work at becoming a better listener.

I love how you use your words, Katie! I really do.

Anonymous said...

I love this post, Katie. I love reading your words, especially when you wax thoughtful and when you make cool, word-based graphics. I love how well-crafted this is.

I like you, too, Katie.