Use Your Words.

(The following is also posted on Student Affairs Women Lead)

I’m not proud to say that I had to clean up my language when I had children. More importantly, I had to clean up my language while driving after I had kids. I hope I am pretty moderate in my use of colorful language when referring to my fellow travelers. However, I recently slipped. And despite that it was under my breath, I apologized to my six year old in the back seat. She asked me why I apologized. I explained that some words have power that we don’t fully understand – they might offend or hurt, and until you better understand that power, I shouldn’t use words that you shouldn’t use. While she returned to staring at the cows we passed, I was reminded of the power of our language.

How have you used your words to lift others today?

What I love most about twitter is how easy it is to help someone with a resource, affirm what they say with a retweet, or just brighten their day with a joke or a “woot!” But are we doing that enough in our day to day work and personal life? Have you thanked someone, complimented someone, cheered someone on today?

I am always in awe of several members of the #sachat community for their amazing and continual support of others, especially the young professionals. One of those rockstars is Tina Horvath, from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. I was so honored to actually meet her at NASPA, and she is just as wonderful in person as she is on twitter. On a regular basis, she encourages the community…

Perhaps it’s my English and Communication background, but I love words. I love how we can use them to change a person’s mind or change her day. My love for the words is compounded when it is supported by someone’s voice, which make my crush on James Earl Jones more understandable. To that end, I love how spoken word poetry can move and share ideas (I’ll save my tribute to Rives for another day).

How are we supporting the voices in our community? How are we making their words heard?

If you are interested in being moved by words and voice, there are few better examples than this TED talk:

How are we lifting the young professionals or the women leaders, the often quieted or the rarely seen? This is not about being political correct; this is about being inclusively right. Our words matter. Our voice matters. Because we want more moments like this:

And for my six year old daughter, I do everything in my power to make sure she hears the good words, the uplifting words, more than my frustration. Here’s one of her favorite songs: The Princess Who Saved Herself.

8 thoughts on “Use Your Words.

  1. Pingback: Use Your Words. « Student Affairs Women Lead

  2. I’m bookmarking all of these posts from the #WLsalt women so when/if I am blessed with a daughter, I will have the wisdom/insight/guidance of amazing women who inspire(d) me before she was born.

    Amazing words Niki, great video to include!

  3. Niki: great post! Language is so important and it seems that many have forgotten that words have meaning (and power).

    I, too, have had to watch the whole driving/curse-stream with my daughter-yet another way she’s making me more aware of myself!

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