The University of Pennsylvania State has found that, on average, a person speaks at least 7,000 words a day. How many of your words matter? Small talk is the plague of our generation. Our constant need for stimulation has made it so we find silence unbearable. Instead, we use our time in elevators or waiting in lines to have conversations we will forget a minute later just to avoid the reality that we can't deal with feeling awkward.
Many times, it feels like people aren't listening, instead, they are just forming words in their head until it is their turn to speak. Don't be that person. Be invested in every conversation that you have. There are only 86,400 seconds in a day, don't waste any on not caring. There's a trend with our generation where we seem to put more importance on icons and celebrities than each other.
Our lives are full of background noise; constantly skimming through Twitter or eyes glazed over looking through Instagram. Our generation takes in more content in a single day than our parents would in a month. It's like we rely on these social media star or political accounts to form our opinions instead of experiencing real-life action. We don't let ourselves think on our own anymore. We place too much importance on other's words and not enough on our own thoughts.
Here's my challenge to you: Make your words count.
Everyone has this thing, this spark that makes them tick. This subject that they can go on and on about for hours. No matter how quiet they are, no matter how shy, they have it. You have it. A person is never more beautiful than when they are speaking about their passion, and when you hear someone talk about something they care about that much, their opinions are invaluable. Listen to them and their opinions instead of the endorsed celebrity tweet, you'll be surprised how many perspectives on one topic there can be.
My favorite part of being me is being loved by the people I am surrounded with. They are unreal, you wouldn't believe the knowledge, wisdom, and hearts that they have. I'm sure each one of you can say the same. Let them know, let your words be important. Something as small as telling a friend you're proud of them takes no time but could mean the world to them. It sounds cheesy, but the little things really make the world less scary.
I apologize for being preachy, but tough love is necessary sometimes, right? I know there are bigger issues and more dangerous things going on in our world, but every action matters. By integrating simple acts of kindness into our everyday lives, maybe we can make caring normal again. Let those who you love to know how vital of a role they play in your life. Stop waiting to speak and instead enjoy listening. Changing old habits is rough but I promise you'll be a lot closer to the person that you want to be. Plus, who knows, maybe the seconds of your day will start to mean a little more to you in the process.