Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Red Leather Jacket, An Eccentric Librarian, & The Effect of Words Well Said

Outfit details:
Leather Jacket: vintage, thrifted
Blouse: vintage, thrifted
Pleated skirt: vintage, thrifted
Shoes: thrifted
Amber earrings: Our Native Land

I am the sort of person who absolutely thrives on affirmation.

I have always loved words, in general. I write. I read constantly. Words strung together, words individually…it’s something of an addiction. It follows, then, that when it comes to praise of any kind, I bask in those words, absorbing them, collecting them in my mind and heart.

Most of us do, don’t we? Really, how often is a compliment unwelcome, as long as it’s not backhanded or distasteful? Yes, all of us have different ways in which we prefer to be shown love, often perhaps without words altogether, and yet, I think it’s safe to say that we all have something that we find especially gratifying to hear about ourselves coming from another person.

For myself, it’s things said about my voice. Not my singing voice, necessarily—though affirmation in that department is certainly welcome—but also in the way I write and in the way I speak. It’s ironic, really, since my speaking voice is really nothing out of the ordinary…or if it is, it favors the side of quirkiness rather than that of mellifluousness. It’s usually low and somewhat sandy, though it will occasionally rise to the pitch of a chronically unimpressed Disney princess if I’m in a social setting. 

It does not carry mystery or drama in its cadence, no. 

But once, an idiosyncratic librarian of my acquaintance told me that I probably had a good voice for reading Shakespeare aloud—as I checked out an enormous stack of the works of the playwright in question—and that precise, specific compliment was easily accepted as being genuine because it wasn’t generic.

You see, no matter how ordinarily odd my voice is, it is something about myself that I value. And Librarian-Acquaintance-o’-Mine recognized that, somehow—saw more than what was there to see, heard more than what there was to hear.

I think there is something to be learned from this. I think we can all do a little more to appreciate each other’s qualities, to recognize what is authentically beautiful about each and every person we come across, and to vocalize our observations. There is so much to be seen at the very heart of each individual, beyond outward appearance & behavior, so much more to commend others on than the shallow things that we tend to notice at first. 

Let's be deeper, then. Let's observe the things that people value about themselves, not just what we initially see.

For words are too precious not to be used well.


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