My sister blogger, Beth Havey read an essay by John Paul Brammer entitled: “Six sentences I can’t forget,” which inspired her to write six sentences that influenced her. Beth, got me thinking about how people influence us in little ways. Tiny things that they say or do that stick with us. Things that more the most part, are not intended to be big life-lesson, but nonetheless, turn out to be just that.
Once I started, I came up with way more than six sentences. Here’s my top six.
- “Some of you don’t belong here.” Spoken by my high school calculus teacher. Yes, he looked straight at me when he said it. I love math. Even more, I love to prove people wrong when they underestimate me. I did prove him wrong. And I learned something very important about myself.
Don’t tell me I can’t, because I will.Tweet
- “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Really listening is way harder than I thought. I read Stephen Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People at a slow pace. I read a chapter, practiced the skill, and only when I thought I had that skill reasonably developed, did I move on to the next chapter. Developing the ability to truly listen came the hardest for me. I practiced for months before I moved on. I’m still practicing.
Listening without intention is really difficult.Tweet
- “The theory of Intelligent Design diminishes God into an engineer who designs systems.” (Pope John Paul II) As someone who loves science and who is a “from the womb” Catholic, this sentence warms my heart and soul. (I especially loved my daughter-in-law’s quick response, “Well, that would explain a lot.” She’s from a family of engineers.)
- “If you can’t keep up, you won’t be able to catch up.” A farmer and my landlord, told me this was his touchstone regarding finances when I was in my twenties. I admit, I had my share of keeping up and catching up to do. Mr. D is right as rain.
- “The President asked a foreign government to investigate a private citizen.” I don’t remember who said this. I only heard it once. I wondered why it wasn’t said again and again. The picture snapped into focus for me.
- “Next to everybody, you are nobody.” Dad told me this when I was a child. I’m not sure what circumstances provoked him to say it. I do remember we were doing barn chores. I took it as a matter of fact to be digested. Dad grew up during the Great Depression. He knew the value of helping each other and working together. He understood looking at the bigger picture. If he were alive today, I’d tell him that I understand what he’s saying, but
Next to everybody, you are somebody.Tweet
I wonder how many things I’ve said that leave a lasting impression.
That thought makes me want to use my two ears way less than my one mouth. How about you? What sentence(s) have impacted you?
To read more from Beth Harvey, click here. She’s such a talented and thought-provoking writer. You won’t be sorry.