It has been over six months since my last blog post. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t have anything to say or that nothing was on my mind (although I have been accused before of having nothing on my mind). There has been plenty on my mind and I have had plenty to say. The reason for no blog posts over that period of time is because I have been busy writing a book. Yes, a book!
I was contacted late last year by Waldorf Publishing out of Dallas, Texas, about the possibility of writing a book. They got my name from someone who I had never had the opportunity to meet, but was a Shoe Shine Guy customer and had been reading my blog. This had been something that I had thought about doing many times over the years, but because of my tendency to procrastinate I just never got around to pulling the trigger. The phone call from Waldorf was just the push that I needed.
It took me about four months to write the book and has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The book is titled: 10 BITS OF WISDOM FROM THE SHOE SHINE GUY – A TRANSFORMED LIFE. It incorporates some of what I have written about in my blog over the last several years, but delves much deeper into my experiences in the business world and my personal life, and how the two interacted over the years. It talks about priorities in life and how mine were misplaced for so long. It talks about how God changed my life forever on a cold, crisp January day back in 2008.
The book will be released this October and can be ordered through Amazon as of the 19th of October. My hope is that by sharing my story and some of the pain that I went through, and a lot of the pain that I inflicted on others, that I will be able to touch some lives. That others will be able to see that no matter where we find ourselves that there is hope for us all. That we can all be transformed through Him.
In the meantime I will continue to be The Shoe Shine Guy. I will continue to shine, and to fix, and to take care of all your shoe and leather needs, just as I have been for the past four and a half years. I will continue to write my blogs on a more frequent basis now, and will continue to look forward to all of the nice comments and conversations that have come my way over that period of time.
Janet and I want to thank everyone; family, friends, and all of our customers, for all of your support over the last four and a half years. You have all made what we do an enjoyable and rewarding experience, and we could not be more blessed to have you all in our lives in some form or another.
We have put together a web page for the book, www.10bitsofwisdom.com, and we will continue to update and add to it as we get closer to the release date for the book in October. In the meantime, I have written a few words that have been on my mind lately and wanted to share them with you. Enjoy!
This week’s blog:
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
Have you ever stopped to think about the power of words? Their true meaning? Their inference? Their ramifications? Have you ever stopped to think about the effect that the words we use can have on others? Words are a powerful tool. They can be used to brighten someone’s day, or they can be used to tear someone down.
Our language and our words are an awesome responsibility that are not meant to be taken lightly. Words are a gift, and a gift is something that is to be treasured and taken care of. We were given this gift of language so that we could communicate well with others. To communicate in a positive, uplifting, and encouraging kind of way.
But that is not how we always use our words. Sometimes we are callous, demeaning, and down right hurtful with our words. We use words to get back at others, to put them in their place, to get even. We use words to start rumors and to talk about others behind their back. We use words that for a brief moment can make us feel good about ourselves, but can have a negative, lasting impact on others. We very often use words the wrong way.
For most of my life I was proud of the fact that I had a quick wit, a wit that I defined and explained away as being part of my “sense of humor”. I came to realize after about 50 years or so that this quick wit was often times more hurtful than helpful. It was more discouraging than encouraging. It was a defense mechanism that I had incorporated into my demeanor long ago to cover up for my insecurities and shortcomings. It was something that I often used to make me feel better about myself. The problem with that was that it more often than not came at the expense of making others feel worse about themselves.
I used the art of language and words the wrong way for a very long time. This is not something that I am at all proud of and is also not a very easy habit to change. Having a quick wit is not something that just easily goes away. Sometimes words just jump off of my tongue before I have the chance to reel them back in. And once they do get out into the open air, there is no getting them back.
I’ve had to learn to slow myself down. To be more conscious of the words coming out of my mouth. To think about what message I am trying to convey and what is the best, most positive and encouraging way to do that. I am trying to take my quick wit down to a medium wit (if that is at all possible). This does not mean that I have to lose my sense of humor. What it does mean is that I need to be more aware of each situation and to think more precisely about what it is that I am trying to convey to someone else. I need to choose my words more carefully and make sure that I am conveying words of respect, kindness, sincerity and affirmation.
The right words can build a person up and set them on the right course for a lifetime. The wrong words can do just the opposite. Mother Teresa once said: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Think about the words that you speak today. Think about how it is that you would like to be spoken to and do the same to others. How we communicate and how we speak to others will echo for a very long time, and will send out a ripple effect that will touch peoples lives for longer than we can know.
Have a happy, productive, exciting and blessed day!