Life is too Short to Look at the Negatives

The other day my mom said to me, “Emma, I really appreciate your positivity.”

Six simple words that made my day. We don’t think about it too much, but we give a lot of worthless compliments. Ok, maybe not worthless, but definitely not lasting, and not meaningful. 

“I like your hair.” “Your shirt’s really cute.” “Nice backpack.” That’s all fine and good. The recipient will smile for a minute or two, on the high that comes from praise.

But what if we gave lasting compliments? If we actively tried to find something we like about a person? Not their appearance, but the actual person. You can change your appearance easily enough, but traits, or characteristics? Sort of difficult to switch up. And when compliments come from someone you respect, it’s just icing on the cake.

I don’t mean “actively” as in try to find something interesting about everyone you know and tell them, because we all know that the gift will lose it’s genuinity if it’s forced.

I mean the next time you notice something about a person that you like, just let them* know that you appreciate it. You won’t just make their day, you’ll make a positive impact on them, maybe for the rest of their life.

My mom gave me that compliment on Saturday, and I still remember it. I responded with the title of this post.

And she said, “If you take that to heart, it will bring you far.”

* I know it’s supposed to be he/she, not them or their, but that just doesn’t flow. Sorry to all the grammar obsessors who flinched when they read that.

Image credit: http://likesuccess.com/115868

A Little Bit of Inspiration

In the form of a few great quotes I’ve collected over the years:

“People do not lack strength, they lack will.”

-Victor Hugo

“Most people want something different, but most people are not willing to change.”

-Bill Evans

“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I’m saying it’s going to be worth it.”

-Russel Wilson

“Mina said that you had a choice, when stuck in a pit, between pleasing the monster by looking down and screaming, or surprising him by looking up.”

-Fatima Mernessi in Dreams of Tresspass

“This is the first day of the rest of your life.”

-Unknown

Or maybe it’s not inspiration. Something to think about, then.

A Relationship, continued

“Writing is a relationship between the writer and the reader.”
– Ms. Storey (I think)

I got some feedback on my last post that I should go “deeper” into what I think about the above quote. So here’s what I think…

If writing is a relationship, then we are all tied in so many ways to each other. Really we are just a giant knot of a web, building relationships with each other constantly. Sharing ideas, changing minds, making connections. Some bad. Some good.

If writing is a relationship between reader and writer, then the two ideally have equal power. The writer writes for itself and the reader reads for itself. Yet the writer can’t help but write for its dear readers and the reader, if the relationship is strong, often feels obliged to read for the writer.

To all of us writers out there, we need to remember we are only half, and never can be both alone and complete. Maybe that is why we write. We crave to create bonds with another person, strive to share our stories so that others can relate. We need the reader. Without the reader, our words are nothing, unseen and unheard. Pointless without the eyes and ears to receive them.

If writing is a relationship between writer and reader, then trust is all around us. As we write, we put a great amount of trust in our readers. We share a most personal gift: our thoughts. And the reader receives this gift, trusting that the words will be enjoyable.

Without a writer, a reader cannot exist, and without a reader, a writer is pointless. We need each other.

A Relationship

My Language Arts (which is reading and writing, for those of you who don’t know) teacher said this the other day, and I really liked it, and thought that, being bloggers, the rest of you might too.

“Writing is a relationship.”

– Ms. Storey (I think. She may have gotten it from someone else, for all I know)

First of all, isn’t it awesome that a writing teacher’s name is storey? And secondly, the whole quote was “Writing is a relationship between the readers and the writer”, but I like the way the part in bold sounds better when it’s alone.

Hopefully that gives you something to think about, as writers especially. It definately made me reasses how and why and what about I write.

Wrinkles

“Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul.”

-Douglas MacAurthur

Never, ever, ever, ever quit. It is not easy to accomplish your goal when you’ve tried and been knocked down. But if you want it badly enough it is worth getting knocked down once, ten times, a hundred times, if it means in the end you will achieve your goal. Quitting might make you feel better for a little bit because you don’t have to feel the pain of having not reached your goal yet. But in the end, knowing you didn’t try your hardest to reach your goal will hurt even more than trying and failing ever did.

Masquerading

“Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.”

-Unknown

I saw this on a card, and I liked it right away. The inside said “Be yourself on your birthday.” I don’t really care much about that part. But I like the truth of the quote. No one is “normal” and yet we all try to fit that very unrealistic, completely subjective quality. Why? Nobody really likes “normal” anyway; we like people for their oddities and quirks. And we are all much happier not pretending to be “normal”. So I say the inside of that card should read  “Be yourself  everyday!”