Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the sentence that changed my life

"You never know what random sentence will change someone's life." ~Rebecca Skloot

I had the pleasure of listening to Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks {very interesting book!}, speak at work last month, and she said some things, including the sentence above, that made me think.
Writers have a way of doing this, no?

I think that sentence is so true.
Good or bad, you never know which thing you say will impact someone.
Skloot said just the words "Henrietta Lacks" changed her life.
They also made her filthy rich...I'm guessing. And not necessarily in a monetary way.

We've all heard the saying, "choose your words carefully."
And while I think it's a good idea to choose your words carefully, harsh words aren't the only ones having an impact on people.
Skloot's words reminded me of a sentence that still impacts me today.
My middle school band teacher {yep, I was a band geek} said during practice one day:

{parade in either seventh or eighth grade}

"If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late. And if you're late, don't bother showing up."

I have carried this piece of wisdom with me since that day.
I HATE being late and I blame that sentence.
I seriously get anxious, complete with butterflies in my stomach, about being late, which is weird considering I was born three weeks late.
But, to me, that sentence isn't just about being on time early.
It's about showing my level of dedication and respect to something enough to show up early. To give 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. To make time for the things and people that matter.
Because if you're going to show up, make it worth it. Or don't bother showing up at all.

One sentence.
That's all it takes to change someone's life. Your life.
To have an impact.
To be impacted.

What one sentence changed your life?

 
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13 comments:

Megan said...

I use that same motto!! I HATE being late more than anything!

Chelsea said...

First of all, what an amazing post. I needed this. I also can't get over how much we really are soul sisters. I mean, I posted a picture of me as a little lass today as well. LOVE the band picture by the way. AND I was born late too... only two weeks though. [Three weeks? Holy cow!]

Words and sentences really can change our lives. I might have to ponder this for a while and write a post of my own one day :) Thanks for the inspiration, pretty lady! xo

Erin said...

That is so funny to me!! My band director used that phrase too only his last part was "to be late is to be dead" haha, they must have been at the same band director conference back in the day ;) I HATE being late too and rarely am!

Sarah said...

This takes me back to Theta Nu!

Amanda said...

I use the same mantra!!!!! My mom told me that when I was really young and I too was born late, about 15 days to be exact!

I have never been late to work in the last four years! I'm early for everything and I'm always prepared!

I'm so glad someone else lives by this mantra!

Kat@shop.school.sleep. said...

I heard that when I was a camp counselor for my college's camp for inner city kids...anyways I hate being late too!! Sometimes I can'r help it thou...it's hard to get up in the morning for work come March-April...my students just drain me!! haha My sentence would be "you make your own destiny"...a motivational speaker said it at my high school senior retreat in the mountains and it has always stuck

Rikki said...

Have you read the Henrietta Lacks book? Talk about a life lesson you'll never forget. I highly recommend it. My blog post about the book is linked below!
http://awomanhercatsandsomebooks.blogspot.com/2012/10/unknown-yet-immortal.html

KRISTIN said...

I love this! It's so true...you never know what will leave an impact on someone. And those are some great words to live by...I definitely should take it to heart!

Devon said...

I really like that sentence and this post. It got me thinking about a sentence that has really influenced me. I think mine is "You can do anything you put your mind to". I've never been the best at anything, ever, but if it's something that matters to me I go after it with everything I've got.

Thanks for the inspiration today! I think we really should be mindful of the things we say to people. Like you said, you never know how it could change someone's life.

My-cliffnotes said...

I loved that book

My-cliffnotes said...

And M saying "will you marry me" was pretty life changing

Kelly { Messy.Dirty.Hair.} said...

Ah you're so right. I am always late. It's awful. I really need to look at it the way you do. It's disrespectful to be late. Um btw you are toooo cute in your band picture! I love it!!

Jamie said...

Rebecca Skloot is awesome!!! She was one of my professors in college, and she used to talk about the book she was writing which was Immortal Life - she's such an inspiring woman. I totally agree - one sentence can change your life.

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