Your Words and Actions Matter

Today, I had a conversation with a stranger that made me smile and reminded me that our words and how we say them can have a powerful impact on others. The stranger was a home insurance agent that I had called to make some updates to my policy. This person was nothing but gracious the entire call and left me in giggles as he joked about me being the age of his children and how people (like us) born in February are amazing.

call center 2
Image courtesy of callcentrehelper.com

As he made changes to my policy, his computer system froze up and I could sense a tinge of anxiety in his voice as he tried not to keep me waiting. My mind immediately jumped to my first university job as a help desk technician at a call center where I would help students and faculty to set up their phone and internet services (back when it was dial-up internet!). I still remember the people who were patient on the phone as I tried to navigate my computer system (as well as those who shouted  impatiently “let me speak to your supervisor immediately!”).

As the agent waited for his computer to come back online, he thanked me for my patience and talked about his passion for coaching hockey. He also spoke with great enthusiasm about his career as an insurance agent for the last 30 years. When his computer system finally started working again, he gave me a discount for the delay and again thanked me profusely.

I thought about how this conversation could have gone differently. What if he had sounded bored talking to me? What if I had hung up on him in frustration? We both would have ended the call on a negative note. But instead, I left the conversation reminded that our words and tone of voice really matter. It can make or break someone’s day. It can push someone over the edge or bring them back from the brink. It also reminded me that we can find joy and enthusiasm no matter what we are doing in life.

Tomorrow, take a moment to smile, chat or demonstrate a kind gesture towards those you come across. You never know what that person is going through and what your words and actions may mean to them. Your kindness and enthusiasm will energize those around you!

 

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The Beauty of the Written Word

Image courtesy of startupremarkable.com
Image courtesy of startupremarkable.com

While I was growing up, our home was filled with all sorts of fascinating books which fueled my interest in learning. Our kids seem to have inherited our “book” gene and they both love to leaf through books regularly.

Yesterday, my son Caleb and I had a lovely day together out-and-about, with the highlights of the day being a visit to the Chapters bookstore and our local library.

I love the fascination of a child over things we as adults have forgotten are fun. A case in point being Caleb’s request to go up and down the escalator at Chapters. His eyes opened wide with excitement every time we reached the top or the bottom just so he could dramatically jump off saying “look mummy, I’m spiderman!”

After his escalator escapades, Caleb planted himself firmly on the floor surrounded by a pile of books. When I suggested that he could move to a chair, he simply responded “but mummy, I have to be close to the books” and continued reading while on the floor.

As I wandered through the aisles keeping a motherly eye on him, I watched passersby slowing down as they noticed Caleb. They smiled and chuckled at this young boy in the middle of the floor, his head buried in books. I felt really proud of him for his thirst for knowledge and I am constantly amazed by the attention span he has for a 4 year old.

As we made our way home for lunch and then out again to the library, we spent an hour or so reading. As I lifted my head and took in the many rows and rows of books, I felt so grateful that my children have access to a plethora of riveting books that will form the basis of their knowledge, capture their imagination and be embedded in their memories.

An excited Caleb at Chapters
Caleb having fun at Chapters