Mind your words

“All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don’t break them for no one.” Tony Montana (Scarface)

Words, the currency with which we communicate and thanks to technology we can use our words in ways we never even imagined. This week I have been absolutely struck by the power of words, for starters I have heard from so many readers after my recent post “Fading to black” I never imagined that this humble little space mattered to so many. Yet so many of you chose to use your words to respond to the words that you find in this space, that was truly a humbling experience, thank you!

I was raised by a man who to be frank many find intolerable, my father is not a man known for the warm fuzzes he leaves you with, and in fact until recently he was the anti-fuzzy. Old age has a way of softening crusty people but the one consistent thing anyone would say about my Pops is that he is a man of his word. In fact as a kid he drilled it in me that when you say something, you need to mean it and when you make a promise you better keep it. One thing I have always said about my dad is that anything he says you can trust. Only time he ever let me down was when my Mom died and I figured in the end he couldn’t control her dying, that was between her, the cancer and the man upstairs!

One of the results of how I was raised is that I rarely say things I don’t mean and if I make a promise to you, you can count on it. I also have very little tolerance for people whose words are noise fillers. My personal adherence to honoring my word no matter what is that frankly there are times that I make myself uncomfortable. Case in point, I guaranteed several people employment until the end of August and not even an organizational cash flow problem was going to get in the way of keeping that promise; instead I have just spent the past few weeks running myself ragged in order to honor my word. I don’t look for pats on the back or praise, simply that I don’t feel good when I make a promise I don’t keep.

Funny thing is this week I have been on a personal roller coaster and it was the words of others that took me on that ride. A fellow blogger pal several weeks ago told me she would help me with something and after a bleak start, she came through. In fact her tenacity at keeping her word almost moved me to tears since honestly I didn’t expect much…silly me. So after I had pretty much had written off all hope of attending that conference that shall not be named, it looked like I was going.  Sadly someone else not keeping their word to me meant I still couldn’t attend…tis life! Ups and downs.

In another random act of kindness, a few days ago in a moment of frustration on twitter I shared a situation about the agency that I head. It was the type of work related stress tweet I am prone to make, yet someone responded in a way that until a box was delivered today to my agency, I frankly didn’t expect. Another case of someone keeping their word.

This week has been emotional because so many things have depended on the words of others and really served as a reminder to me that in the end all we have are our words. The words we use and the words we don’t use are the standards by which our worth will be judged, sure actions are important but in many cases it all starts with our words. For me this is a powerful reminder to mind my words.