I had two “unusual” conversations today. In the first one, a former student came to my scheduled book signing to tell me that I made a difference in her life…that I made her want to succeed because I believed in her.
In the second, a friend from my own high school days called to reconnect. (I recently had my 45 year class reunion, and she got my number from the directory.) Anyway, she asked about previous friends, and then she asked if I remembered once telling her that she “had a big nose.” For the life of me, I do not recall this conversation. Supposedly, it had something to do with her religious beliefs.
The point I am trying to make is we never know how our words will be interpreted. 45 years later, a former friend still remembers something I probably said quite flippantly and which, obviously, hurt her feelings. For that I am deeply sorry. 30+ years after I told the student that I would accept nothing but her best work and that she was intelligent and would succeed, I celebrate my foresight. Both comments made a difference in another person’s life. My 16 year old self hurt someone, and my 27 year old self inspired someone. It is amazing how much we grow as people.

About Regina Jeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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2 Responses to Reflection

  1. Suze A. says:

    I try to be careful when telling my daughter something. I have been trying to potty train her for months and she refuses, until this weekend. I was getting a short tempered when she would pee her pants and I’d tell her why she did not say she had to go, but this weekend I put a bunch of change of clothes on the side; and if she peed her pants I followed Elmo’s motto “accidents happen and its ok” she responded much better and didn’t say she want the diaper. I was discouraging her before without realizing it. My word effected a 3yr old girl. Who knew!! Lol

  2. I suppose as an author, I know the power of the written word; yet, we do sometimes forget how the spoken word can change a person’s concept of himself/herself. It is amazing Suze that you have noted the difference even in such a young child. I used to tell my son before a race, “I do not know how you do this, but I am so proud of you.” Sometimes, his races were magic, and others were not so productive, but I was always there cheering for him at the finish line. One of his high school friends once told my Joshua how lucky he was because both of his parents came to the cross country and track meets. Parents do not understand the influence they have in their children’s lives.

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