Emotional Empowerment

I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

-Maya Angelou

Having grown up in a very troubled home environment, I learned very early on how to feel unworthy of love and connection. These feelings of low self-worth lingered well into adulthood until I was finally able to tame that beast! The truth is, that if it hadn’t been for my Uncle Dominick, whose love, and affection, were inexhaustible, I shudder at the thought of who I might have become.

My uncle, who is now deceased, owned a small paint store in a suburb of Philadelphia, where I grew up. I worked for him every weekend during the school year, and every day (except Sundays) during the summers. I lived with him, my aunt, and their daughter during those periods of time. Being a hard and competent worker at a very early age, I became a valuable asset to the business.

My uncle (and I believe very deliberately) addressed me as “Son.” He told me several times a day how much he loved me, and how valuable I was to “our” paint store. He taught me how to have a relationship with God, as well as many other important lessons about life and business. He was, in every sense of the word, a father to me. He died many years ago, and I still miss him terribly.

The point here is not that I had an amazing father figure who saved my life, but rather, how my uncle consistently made me feel. I believe that one of the great tragedies in our culture is that we have become more concerned with our own feelings than we are with the feelings of others, especially those who are closest to us. We are too self-absorbed to tell our server at the restaurant what a fabulous job he/she is doing or to take a minute to chat with our elderly neighbor, who might be lonely and in need of some validation. Being intentional about making someone feel good is simply a choice, and a choice worth making!

I can choose to be intentional about making people feel good!

© John G. 2021

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