Words. We use them everyday. Whether written, spoken, or sung, we need the action of stringing phrases together to communicate, and simply to be. We were created to live in community, and words are the lifeblood that make this happen.
And yet, we don't use them perfectly. Things happen because of words that we can't explain. Some of these things have effected me directly, but still others occur daily that I don't (or can't) imagine. As someone who loves words and stories, this pains me, for I want to empathize and help.
For these instances, the best advice I've received has been "Drew, don't speak; listen." This is hard because I find it necessary to speak in order to grieve or to share condolences. But, is it always my place? Listening and simply being accessible for conversation could be the best thing I can offer.
Using purposeful words.
Many know that I'm usually pretty serious and straightforward with conversation. Mostly, I don't find myself to be all that funny, and I'm admittedly pretty gullible. Don't get me wrong, I like to have fun, but I also very much value meaningful conversation where yes is yes and no is no.
Sarcasm has its place in the right settings, but I'm of the notion that words follow what's in the heart. I've also endured my own share of mean-spirited words, so I could never intentionally bring myself to pay that forward.
That being said, if you ever feel like I'm not living up to that call, please feel free to say something.
Moving forward in love.
As a champion of stories, I want you to know that I believe in you, and your story. Don't think for a second that you don't have a compelling story. Yes, it might be different from mine or someone else's, but it's just as affirmed.
Because of this (and my own life experiences), I feel called now more than ever to be as active as possible in sharing and learning about your stories. Particularly, Millennials: We have a story to tell and a life to live. We get called interesting and lazy in the same sentence, which makes me wonder, "Are we telling our stories well, and what can we do better to actively participate in conversation?"
While I'm choosing a path that involves city exploration, design, and fashion, please know that's not my only end goal. These topics are simply tools for me to connect you to other people for a greater impact. It's about words, stories, and relationships, and it's about worthy people, beautiful dreams, and heartfelt adventure.
Why this matters.
Ultimately, we make the choice daily about how we'll live out our stories. It's about how we'll spend our time, use our words, and impact society. There's a movement happening, and my prayer is that we will engage with love at the core.
There will likely be times of disagreement due to beliefs, but we can still love our neighbors through the good times and bad. We can choose to listen, and we can choose to sit across the table and commune.
This choice matters because words matter and impact others. This matters because God created the world and intended us to work together, to serve together, to be together.
In the end, don't speak because you fear silence. Speak because you care about the well-being of your neighbor. Write because there's a burning passion in your soul that oozes eloquence. Sing because there's a joy (even during sorrowful times) in your heart.
I don't have all the answers, but my heart longs to lend a helping hand to you. Specifically, this relates to sharing your stories and helping you achieve your dreams, and this starts (and continues) with words. I hope you'll choose to join me.