Words Matter

By Troy Bishopp 

At the beginning of 2016, I declared it the year of “Thank You”. I suggested and laid down some country logic why the 2 most powerful words should be spoken or written on a regular basis to warm the hearts of humanity and provide inspiration to others for the little things.  I’m back again in 2017, like your recent tax bill, to cry even louder that words DO matter.

Words matter was a top attention grabber in last year’s tweet-filled, emotional election and is still spilling all over the media outlets. “Experts” seem to relish taking valuable airtime to try and figure out the tone of a word or groups of words people text or say, like it was some Morse code.  Equal to the task are the “wordsmithians” who use diversion words or acronyms to mitigate or tone down the offender of just bad language principles or behavior.  But I digress.

The words thank you, thanks, gracias or much obliged have a tone that is unmistakable. I’m still enamored by the saying, “Next to excellence is the appreciation of it.”  Why don’t we appreciate giving praise in all facets of life.  Since my declaration of 2016, I’ve found little has changed in the thank you department where I inhabit.  If words truly do matter, what’s the deal?

I’ve been told by friends and colleagues that it only takes one person’s praise for a job well done to mitigate twenty “non-commenders” to stimulate happiness. So they’re basically saying, they would be happy with one good bale of hay out of 20 moldy ones.  It seems this ratio is way out of whack and indicates there is or must be improvement, for folks to have fulfilling relationships with each other.

For there to be a movement towards thoughtful gestures and words in 2017, one must set time aside for practice. With people so desperate for some sort of praise, a little effort can go along ways.  From my experience, handwriting and sharing a personal note of appreciation through snail mail is still a top seller.  A close second is offering a helping hand or dedicating some time to the person’s charity.  Far down the list is any extravagant gift.  What I see are people craving the feeling of being appreciated not denigrated.

This personal thank you sharing is just as powerful for the giver. The joy comes, maybe in months, when you get that hug, smile or pay-it-forward reciprocation.  It feels good to provide someone a little pep in their daily step.  It can become contagious.  Can you over praise?  Heck no!

I’m not going to give up on the notion that words matter. In fact I’m making it a priority to become a steward of thanks.  For 52 weeks, I am committed to writing a thank you to someone in the audience for something they have done that inspires, encourages or unselfishly helps someone out.  In taking on this initiative, I have discovered there are countless people worthy of praise, so it may take on a life of its own.

I’d like to demonstrate that words matter and are not just hurtful tools for the tone deaf.

“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Published in Lee Publications, Country Folks