Quality

Quality

Some weeks, my mind gravitates towards one focus. Other weeks, a different niche grabs my attention. Recently, kindness was my focus, but this week the concept of quality has sat with me.

What is quality? It depends upon the context, but here’s some examples from my world. For me, it is proof-reading your work before hitting publish. It is making time for clients, but more importantly for friends. Quality can be seen in the way you give back to your community and to those less fortunate than yourself. A mark of someone who cares is in remembering special dates, big events, and important happenings that touch someone else. Just a few words asking after a person can mean so much.

Taking the time to put in your best effort is important. It might take longer, but in the grand scheme of things, is worth it. A half hazard attempt shows in so many ways and speaks volumes of the person behind them. Do you want to work with or be associated with someone who doesn’t put in their best effort? That is often questionable.

And as I cannot let it go, I reread my words before sending them out into the universe. I add thoughts here, take some away there. I reread the above paragraph three times and changed the wording to make the paragraph more succinct and less repetitive. And gosh darn it, I had to look up how to spell succinct, not to mention double-check the definition to make sure that was the correct word for my meaning. Took away another few words again…

It feels like I am getting away from that definition now, but it is all part of the process. What marks quality for you in a person or someone’s efforts? Is it in perfection or compassion? Thought or details? Brevity or depth of information?

succinct – marked by the use of few words to convey much information or meaning

Advertisements

Kindness

Kindness. It is in a smile at the grocery store, holding a door for a stranger, or checking on a neighbour who’s been ill. Listening to a friend who needs to talk, reaching out to others just because, and going the extra mile at work are all acts of kindness too. It costs nothing, but is priceless.

We are kind when we give of ourselves when we don’t have to. We are generous when we expect nothing in return. The return on kindness is in being a decent human being. Your reward is knowing it is the right thing to do. The question is why more people don’t know that.

Those who give, don’t give in anticipation of medals or accolades. They are just the shining lights that inspire others to keep lighting the candles of goodness around them. Maybe they were the recipients of a small act that made a big difference or maybe they just inherently know that the only way to be treated well, is to treat others in the same way.

I have had people dig deep to make my life easier in dark days. Others have brightened my day by presenting a pie. A kind word, a thoughtful action; these things help me see the goodness in life and humanity. I try to recognize those acts, those moments, and imprint them on my outlook. It is called Grace.

Life can be pretty sweet if you see it that way.

IMG_20170727_122514945_HDR

 

Celebrate Literacy

Today is the first day of school at our house and across much of North America. Students headed back to teachers, pencils, books and all that comes with our education system. As much as there was a certain amount of nerves at play, we were all pretty excited for the new school year here. I kissed my children this morning and wished them well, as their new teachers called their names and led them away. Let their formal education resume once more!

Not all children are so lucky though. There are many across the world who do not have the good fortune to go to school. As much as literacy rates are fairly high in North America, there are still a shocking number of people who cannot read here and elsewhere in the world. The idea of not being able to read a book or even the myriad of signs that surround me on a daily basis is more than I can comprehend. Words are not only my business, but also my fondest pastime. I love reading!

While not everyone is as much of a book lover as me, the ability to read is incredibly important. It helps predict success in life and highlights the threat of poverty. As a woman, I am especially concerned with the higher illiteracy rates for my sisters across the globe. Knowing the lack of education often equates to a more difficult lot in life is frustrating. Why is this still happening? We need to do more for women, but progress doesn’t happen fast enough for those at risk.

On International Literacy Day, I celebrate school and the opportunities it brings for everyone. I always enjoyed school and my children love it too. I know the education they receive will take them far in life. And I pray that we can improve the lot of those who need a piece of that gift too. Let’s all do our part to stamp out global illiteracy and make the world a better, and more well-read place.

ajtiw00qqti-brandi-redd

Power of Words

Wow, I just read an article about the new sex ed curriculum in Ontario. More specifically, it focused on the backlash against it. And as much as the article tried to be straightforward and present the facts, it is the comments following the article that blew me away.

Holy moly.

It boggles my mind where these people come from, but they insist on getting their message heard. More often than not, grammar, spelling, and a logical flow to the ideas presented are far from present. Negative thoughts are tossed back and forth in a poisonous mire of hate. Whomever can put the other person down loud enough walks away smugly as the victor, whether their argument is valid or not.

I don’t want to introduce a maelstrom of hate here, but it just affronts my sensibilities when people think that their point can be put across in such an atrocious manner—whatever the issue. You see these negative messages on newspaper articles, YouTube videos; websites anywhere that have a comment box for people to be hurtful. Why?

There are bigger issues in the world and better ways to debate them, than through mudslinging and name calling. Thousands of people have died in Nepal after an earthquake ravaged the poor country. Outpourings of support have been manifold. The world has come to a people in need and it is heartwarming. Spreading the message, the word, through positive means is bringing much-needed support to a crippled nation. People want to help and are digging deep to provide it.

Across the world a black man died in police custody. People have rightfully questioned the circumstances and surrounded the family with support in their time of loss. But others have taken advantage of the situation to loot and pillage a community for no reason other than to benefit themselves. A state of emergency has been declared and the community is frightened for its safety. Businesses have lost products, their brick and mortar locations, and their sense of security, not to mention a sense of community. Lest we forget, a young man also lost his life. It’s a nightmare, created via anger, injustice, hate, and probably a heck of a lot of misunderstanding. I feel for this community, as well.

Again though, I ask why?

If we have issue with someone or something, is it not better to voice those concerns in a logical manner? Am I naive to think the power of the word is dead? I realize that sometimes those words get lost and have to be repeated, sometimes even repeated with strikes and protests til the message is heard, but I just don’t feel that violence, whether it be physical or via verbal attack, can solve an issue. In Baltimore, peaceful protests were planned, but those protests were hijacked by violence. How does anyone win in that situation? Anger, resentment and a whole host of other issues flare and continue to separate sides. Does it have to take a tragedy to change that?

I offer a prayer of peace to these hurting communities around the globe. I hope they can find the justice they seek, but do it in a manner which doesn’t hurt others in the process. I wish people would realize that their words are powerful things which can inspire hope, love, understanding, support and change when taken the time to be presented in positive light. It seems we could use a little light right about now.

 

ImageChef Word Mosaic - ImageChef.com