Monthly Archives: July 2012

what goes without saying?

“Well, that goes without saying.”

No, it doesn’t. It shouldn’t. As long as it isn’t hurtful, say it.

If you need to stand up for yourself, do it. Say it. If you see injustice being done, say so. If you love someone, tell them. If your neighbour has a really nice garden, let her know.

Your child’s teacher helped make grade 2 a fantastic year? … Tell that teacher. Hell, tell the principal! I did. I told the principal how I felt and I gave the teacher a copy of the parts of the letter that pertained to her. She needed to know how grateful I was, how happy I was, how happy BoyGenius was with his grade 2 experience. Telling her made her feel great, brought tears to her eyes and let her know that she really is doing it right.

People don’t know things unless you tell them. Good things and bad things. We usually don’t have much trouble telling people what we don’t like about what they’re doing, how they drive, the way they dress. We seem to have a much harder time telling people what we do like about them. It’s not all our fault. Many of us don’t know how to react when given a compliment. We brush it off, say something self-deprecating or tell the person praising us that they must be blind or crazy or something like that. I once had the occasion, after an afternoon and evening spent with a few friends and about 17 of our kids, to send all the moms an e-mail telling them that I had had a great time and that I loved all of their children. We had spent about five hours in one friend’s home, with 17 children ranging in age from 4 to 9 years, without once having to raise our voices or discipline anyone. Those kids were great!¬†Every single response I got accused me of being drunk; not a one was able to just agree and say thanks.

If you are concerned about a friend’s stress level ask them to go for a walk with you and tell them you’re worried. They might give you the “I’m fine” answer or they might be so glad that someone noticed and cared enough to be concerned that they’ll walk and talk and get some things off their chest. It might not seem like much but it might be enough to let them get some respite from their struggles.

Think you’ve got the best paperboy in town? Tell him. Give him a tip. Is he someone from your neighbourhood? Tell his mom you think she’s done a great job raising a fantastic kid. When you meet someone and you think they have a fabulous smile or amazing eyes, tell them; even if it’s the guy behind the counter at the community centre. You might make a new friend or maybe you’ll just make someone feel like a million bucks. Either way, it’s a good thing.

If you buy a product and it has a problem, let the manufacturer know. You don’t have to be angry about it. Just point out to them that you’re disappointed and let them know what the issue is. Nine times out of ten, they will be apologetic and find some way to compensate you. Companies need to know if there is a problem with their manufacturing, with their quality control or with their shipping. (This is especially true for food products.)

You’ve seen it in movies, on tv; you’ve read it in books; maybe you have experienced it in real life: that goes without saying.

“Honey, did you enjoy dinner?” “Are you proud of me, mom?” “Do you love me?”

If they have to ask you, they don’t know. If they don’t know ….. it obviously doesn’t go without saying.

Fatboy Slim had it right all along … “I have to praise you like I should.”

Categories: words | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Monday’s words (on a Tuesday) – E

Alright, alright, it’s a Tuesday and not a Monday .. but we had a long weekend and the first day after a long weekend always feels like a Monday so I think I’m okay.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter E and by the number 2216 (the number of E words I’ll be talking about).

E is for everything

When I first thought of this “series” I figured it would at least give me something to write about without having to give it too much thought; that turned out not to be the case. When I get around to these particular posts I find myself giving a lot of thought to words: words that start with the letter I’m at, words that are derived from those words, words that don’t fit the category but have the same or similar or opposite meanings, words that hurt, words that build.

I have a lot of favourite words starting with E, relatively speaking. They go something like this:

  • exhausted
  • ephemeral
  • ethereal
  • ease/easement
  • ebb
  • enliven
  • eddy
  • epitome
  • ewer
  • envision
  • element/elemental
  • ember
  • envelop
  • embrace
  • engage/engagement
  • enlighten

Now let me tell you what I like about these words and you can tell me if you feel the same .. or differently .. or nothing at all.

I love the thought that a person or an idea can be exhausted. We have explored all aspects of this, we have exhausted all avenues of thought. Do you have someone in your life who exhausts you? In a good way or in a bad way? I think we all have people who exhaust us in a “bad” way but I believe it is a rare find indeed when you come across a person who can exhaust you in a “good” way. I have a friend who exhausts me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and believe me, it’s all good. What that means to me is that I am so comfortable that I can let everything (good, bad, stressful or joyous) drain out of me, allowing me to look at it, to sift through it, to decide — sometimes with help — what is worth hanging on to and what should be let go.

I don’t really like the idea that some things are so short lived that they are ephemeral, but I absolutely love the fact that there is a term for this phenomenon and that it is such a beautiful word. Ephemeral. The word itself makes the idea easier to live with.¬†Ethereal is another beautiful word. Extremely delicate, spiritual, heavenly, otherworldly, too perfect for this world. What a gorgeous word. What a sad and lovely concept.

I love the words ease and easement. Knowing that you are able to do something with ease is a good feeling — unless it’s something bad, then you should probably be concerned about the ease with which you are able to do it. Knowing that something you do can help ease someone’s feelings or hardships … that’s gotta make you feel good. And as far as easement goes, I’m referring to the feeling of comfort or peace, or the act of easing or relieving someone’s discomfort, not the right of way that allows you to use someone else’s property to get to yours. Although I kind of like that usage of the word as well.

I love the ocean and am soothed by the ebb and flood of the tide. When ebb is used to describe the lessening of things in general, although it is often seen as a negative descriptive term, I can’t help but think of the ebb of pain or the ebb of sorrow or the ebb of any other hard or painful thing. I always see it as a gentle calm settling over whatever is troubling someone. That’s why I like the word ebb.

There isn’t much that needs be said about the word enliven. It speaks for itself. “You enliven me.” You make me feel more alive, you animate me and my spirit, you inspire me, you brighten my countenance.

An eddy is a current of water (or air) that moves or flows contrary to the main current — man, I love that idea. Sure, it’s often a water feature so it grabbed me from way back, but going against the flow, building your own little current, whirlpool or whirlwind … that is totally cool. In fact, it’s the epitome of cool. Ahh, epitome. The embodiment of something. While I love the word epitome for its meaning, I love using it for its pronunciation. Epitome. Another one I love the sound of is ewer. It comes up often in crossword puzzles and knowing that when the clue is “pitcher” the answer is “ewer” always makes me smile.

Envision is kind of like enliven for me; the word itself is enough to make me see its meaning. I truly believe that a person can do or make or be anything that they can envision. It won’t always be easy, the way to get to that point may not be easily seen but as long as you can envision the goal I think you’ll get there eventually. (Eventually is one I didn’t mention but I fall back on it often. Eventually and eventuality. Those words keep me going sometimes; they give me hope.)

Element and elemental are words I appreciate in all of their presentations. Fundamental, essential, basic. Natural habitat. Sphere of activity. Being “in your element” must be an amazing feeling.

Embers are defined as parts of a dying fire; the small glowing or smouldering bits of coal or wood or ash. But if you bank the embers you retain the heat and can easily kindle a new flame when necessary. Embers may be tiny, they may be a part of something that is dying but they are hot. So very, very hot. When people speak of dying embers I think of sparks and heat and flames. I think of love that never dies; no matter how small that glowing ember is it can quickly be sparked to a raging fire.

Envelop and embrace are words that fill me with warmth and hope and an overall feeling of love and kindness. They are good words. I envelop you in my love. I not only embrace you in the physical sense, but I embrace your thoughts and ideas. How cool is that!?

When I think of engagement I think of BoyGenius. I think of how I want his teachers to engage him. I think of how I want him to be engaged in learning. I think of how it makes me smile when I see him engaged in conversation with a peer or a mentor, or when I know he wants to engage someone in conversation or in some other activity that interests him.

Enlighten. To give someone greater knowledge and understanding of something, be it materially, spiritually or philosophically. You often hear “well, let me enlighten you” used in a negative connotation but I think we should stop doing that. I think if I have knowledge or understanding of a subject or a situation I should be happy to share, to increase your understanding; I shouldn’t ever use enlightenment in such a way as to make you feel small or make a situation worse. That’s not what it’s about.

Wow. This has turned into quite an entry. I hope I haven’t bored you. Who knew E words could take over like that? (I actually pared down my list, if you can believe it.)

Categories: words | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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