Few statements are as powerful, or as inspiring as “look.” Rarely can one word lead to so much joy, anxiety, anger, or sadness. Happily, this story of “look” is a good one, and it reminded me of the tremendous value of one word.
Yesterday my daughter lost her first tooth. We put it under her pillow and she went to sleep, anxiously awaiting the tooth fairy. When we put the money under her pillow, we also left a note, written in handwriting different from either mine or my wife’s.
This morning, when she woke up, she ran into the office where I was biking. “Look!” she screamed. “Look what I got!” The money was good, but the note was better. Basically, the note said the tooth fairy was happy to visit and my daughter should be proud she lost her first tooth.
My daughter was so excited by the note that she asked to bring it to school to show her friends (the money went in her piggy bank). My wife and I both smiled at how cute it was, and also how influential a short note was for her.
And that one word response of “look” was very influential for me. It helped remind me that much can be said in very few words, and also the power one word has to change emotion, alter the course of a day (or life), and shift things either in our community’s favor, or against it.
I’ve strived to move more towards a frame of listening more and talking less, and I still don’t think I’m where I need to be with this. But, the power of one word like “look” reminds me that I can still move further in this direction, and get to a place where all the words I share resound for others, and I have removed the filler that sometimes is there simply so I can hear myself talk.
This morning, as we got ready to go out to the bus, my daughter said, “Last night was the best night ever.” I can only hope she can say that about every night (and day) moving forward, and I can only hope that we can help those we work with get to that point too.