The Folly of a Change of Fonts

July 17Go ahead. Try any font. From my point of view, it doesn’t matter. The shape of the letters that form the word July, the angles of the number 17 – these are harsh and unnecessary. Even cruel.

Every year I dread this date and the sadness it rekindles. It’s been 16 years. How many more? Continue reading The Folly of a Change of Fonts

Who is your “Byron”?

PJS_0235 (crop)Wallace is 90 years old now, moving a little slower than he used to but still sharp as a tack and fully engaged in, as he would say, “doing the Lord’s work”. Yesterday he flew – alone – from Miami to Johnson City, Tennessee. This required that he change planes in Atlanta. In a wheelchair. And deal with TSA.

Understand, this is a true Southern gentleman who, just over 9 months ago, had open heart surgery. A month and a half or so ago, he fought a serious bout with bronchitis that nearly landed him in the hospital.

So you have to wonder: Why in the world would he take on a trip like this?

One reason and one reason only: Continue reading Who is your “Byron”?

Because a gift can become a weapon

Have you ever heard the adage, “The one who keeps the minutes determines the outcome of the meeting?” When I take the notes for a meeting, recount an event, or write a report of an interview, I always introduce my own bias into the record. It’s inevitable.

Words have limitations.

Even when I strive to be completely objective, the words I choose, the way I organize and frame the content – these necessarily reflect a little of me.

If you’re a “wordsmith” – someone who puts words together well – you have a gift that can be the proverbial two-edged sword. People may come to depend on you to summarize what happened in a given situation and even look to you for an interpretation of that event. Because you are reasonably well-spoken and communicate well, they may seek your personal opinion on other topics as well.

Make no mistake: There’s power and responsibility in that.set a guard over my mouth

On the one hand, when you use your communication gift with integrity, you have the privilege of insuring information is presented accurately and completely. You can tell the full story and tell it in a way that adds to the conversation; you can build up rather than tear down. You can also shine a light of truth on negative things that need to be exposed.

Continue reading Because a gift can become a weapon