Coffee with Carrie: Words, deeds and being better

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Coffee with Carrie is written by Carrie Gloeckner, publisher and journalist at the Meigs Independent Press. This new column is meant to be a way to start your week off with some thoughts about the community, community interest bits and just positive thoughts to start the work week off. Hopefully you can find it interesting, entertaining and maybe even insightful.)

In the past couple of weeks I have seen the worst in people and the best as well. As a reporter, it never ceases to amaze me at the levels people will go to harm, terrorize, demean, or otherwise treat someone else horrible in some way. It never seems to fail though, when I see the worst, I also get to see the best. Let’s look at the worst first.

Obviously if you have been reading the Meigs Independent Press, you have heard of a recent trial. I will spare you the details, but it was an awful thing to sit in and listen to. That’s my job and I did it. I’ve covered trials like this before, but it has been awhile. How we hurt one another as human beings, it is incredible the scars that can be left from terrible deeds.

On a separate note, I also have recently seen the consequences of how words and deeds impact individuals. Words matter more than we can ever comprehend. Deeds matter too, but the way you treat one another as a family, friends, a community is truly everything. I want to be clear in stating this again – you’re words matter. When you call a child “stupid” and other such put downs, you are causing injury, particularly if you are a parent. Children learn what they live. If they live insult and told that they will be nothing but failures, it can impact their adult life. That isn’t on them, that is on you as a parent for not being loving and encouraging. We just had Mother’s Day. Mothers should nurture and instill in their children a sense of worth, not a sense of entitlement, but a sense of worth. The damage done when a mother does not nurture is an immeasurable cost to the individual and their development. Coming from a Christian perspective, Genesis tells us that God literally spoke the universe into being. Why include that bit unless God is trying to show something. Words matter and how you treat your children, grandchildren and other family matters. While I was in education, it never ceased to amaze me at the students I encountered that had never had anyone tell them that they had worth, that they mattered and had value. When I worked in ministry, I couldn’t tell you the adults I have seen break into tears at those words because no one ever said those kind of words to them. Consider your words and how you talk to children because again, children learn what they live.

Now, for the best side of people. Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Ohio State FFA Convention in Columbus. Not every teenager there was the most upstanding, but the majority were. The majority of those young people were incredible, hard-working students. They were working through earning their State FFA Degrees, Gold ratings and other awards. The state president gave an inspiring speech about the purpose each of us has and how important we are to God and our community. He talked about appreciating life, being grateful and working hard for whatever your purpose is in this life in FFA and beyond. It was a dynamic experience to see a teen speak so in an age when they are so often characterized as lazy and without drive. This young man had drive to spare. He was also a young man that was raised with the understanding that he had worth, was valuable. There is a huge difference when someone is raised that way and when they are not.

I have also experienced kindnesses that amaze me too. Deeds and words can change situations, demeanors, and even lives. In all my hurried, chaotic daily schedules, I tend to forget to stop and appreciate people along with words and deeds of kindness. Again, what truly matters? Who truly matters?

It is easy to see the bad in people and this world. Like I said before, I see the bad a lot in my line of work. Sometimes you have to stop and take stock that there are good people in the world too. Sometimes you just have to stop and pray too, just to take that moment to be rooted in what truly matters and who truly matters. Sometimes you just have to pay attention to what is going on around you too.

Perhaps you have uttered unkind words, insults at your children, grandchildren or other loved ones. That can change today. Apologize and begin to change, walking forward with words of life and love instead of anger and disrespect. It’s possible, you just have to choose it and begin. Perhaps you need to start with doing something that is kind, even in the smallest way for others. Begin somewhere with something and make your corner of the world a better place for it. What happens if we just choose to be better? To be better than what we have been?

I’m not perfect. I’m just a coffee drinking reporter that has seen more at times than I would ever care to, but I am also a follower of Christ. I fall so short so often, but I keep walking the journey. May I be better, kinder and above all love one another as I should. I know I continue to try to as I travel this journey of life. I hope you can too.

Just few thoughts over coffee, come back and we’ll have another cup next week.