One of my clients said I was becoming like Trump this week (during the 2016 election). I was like, "I think I'm offended by that." He says, "Well, I mean you're becoming so successful, you're gonna be the next Trump." I laughed and said, "Well, if I turn that mean or have that bad of hair, someone needs to punch me in the face." (Glad we didn't have this conversation when I had my bangs incident this summer.....)
One of the other lawyers says, "It is pretty bad when you have a two-year-old who sees Trump on the face of all the magazines and says, 'Daddy, this man always looks like he is mad. See how red his face is?'" The discussion between four lawyers and I went on to express who and what we liked and why, and all in good fun. No hatred here. That's what adults do when they express their opinion.....well, most adults.
Have you noticed that there seems to be a very sad meanness that Facebook brings on, or allows? Perhaps it's that people used to talk about others behind their back instead of to their face on this medium? I wonder how many times people have posted something here in a rant of some sort and then wish they hadn't. I know I've sent an e-mail or two that I wish I hadn't sent, wished I had toned it down, said it differently, more gently or more graciously.
When I think about our words and how they scar and wound, I am always reminded of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Staats. She is one the one I think of when I have to do a security question when they ask you for your favorite teacher. I've had lots of great teachers, and they made an impact on me, but Mrs. Staats made a LIFELONG impact on me by eight little words. They might have been the eight words she placed on every report card she handed out - but to me, those words had a huge impact. I was the little red-haired, freckle-faced, pop-bottle-glasses-wearing face only a mother could love. I don't remember ONE negative thing about my childhood other than knowing I wasn't the "cute girl." And would never be. I grew taller than all the boys early, so I stood in the back of every picture, went last in almost every activity from the time I was very young. I wasn't athletic either, perhaps because my mom and dad didn't hold athletics at a high priority like some parents do. But I was funny. And now Mrs. Staats thought I was more than that.
Those eight words were: "Teresa is very smart. She can do anything." I have looked back on those words - wondered if I really was smart as a six-year-old, or if she just wanted me to BELIEVE I was smart. Either way, it worked! I graduated high school with almost a 4.0 GPA, and it began in first grade. See, there was a belief in me put there by this sweet, sweet woman, and there was also an expectation to perform. Her words gave life to my actions. My parents were great encouragers also. My father was dyslexic before dyslexia was popular or known about. He could hardly read. But I will never forget the night at the dinner table that he told me how smart I was and that I could choose anything in the world to pursue and he would work as hard as he could to see that I could achieve that degree. He mentioned doctor, lawyer, all those "biggies" that parents dream for their children. He got off easy when I chose to go to a vocational school for court reporting and only had one year of formal education, but he never expressed one word of disappointment that I had chosen something that I believed I would love. And love it, I have.....it was and still is my dream job.
A new friend posted something a day or so ago about "What's a girl to do in the snow? I think I'll send some cards." That just warmed my heart. As we sit in our homes, blessed to be warm and cozy, plenty of food and family around, I believe this is a great time to use our words to encourage, to bless someone, to apologize, to take stock of what's important and what we believe in. The Bible says, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." Let's use our mouths to love on people, not to destroy them......
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.