So I am sitting at work, and I am playing with my new iPod. It’s a pretty quiet day, and I am listening to a podcast of one of my favorite shows, This American Life with Ira Glass. I always find this show captivating. The host, Ira Glass, puts together a segment of recordings dealing with a main topic. This week’s topic is recordings, not just general recordings, but recordings meant for one person. Specific messages for specific people, and we get a peek into what they have to say. I’ve listened to two thirds of the show by now, and I am kinda roaming around in my mind. I’ve heard this particular episode before…I was driving back from home, it was late Sunday night. The three hour drive back to Louisiana Tech was always killer on Sunday nights. I didn’t leave till around six, or seven at night. So by the time I got back, it was midnight, maybe even one in the morning. I always felt guilty about those nights because I stayed home from church to spend time with my girlfriend. I’d spend all weekend with her really, and then just leave to return to the grind of another week at school. That time in my life was such a transitionary period. I was a college student, but the entire time I never spent a weekend at the college. I made that drive every weekend, Friday I left after my last class, and Sunday night I drove back, and every night I would listen to this radio show.

It always stirred a bevy of emotion within me. He talks to real people, about real things that they deal with. They are real stories from real people, and I was captivated to hear each of them, the range of reactions and spectrum of responses that every day people have to common, and sometimes uncommon, things. I guess it is the way the host does the show. His calm, even voice mixed with music that seems to fit the mood of each word. So sitting here now I think about the words that we say to each other. What do they mean? Often we don’t choose our words with any type of discretion. Typically I often just say what I think, then realize afterwards that maybe that particular way of dealing with the situation might have been bad. It is easy to get caught up, easy to get lost in our own world where we have so many things going on that we forget exactly what we are saying, or doing, to other people. So my personal challenge is to understand what I say, why I say it, and how it could affect other people. Maybe if we all did this every once in awhile, we’d have less conflict in our lives. Not that I am perfect, this is just my observation, but give it a try. Think before you speak, use your words to lift others up instead of tear them down, and examine the results.