I have the great privilege of developing friendships with a great majority of our patients. I have learned a tremendous amount about our world and the hearts of people. One resounding lesson is the words we choose to express to others matter. I was profoundly reminded of this lesson a few days ago. A very special adult patient named Debra sent an e-mail to me about her experience as an orthodontic patient and the reason she chose to pursue orthodontics with us as an adult. With her permission, I will reprint her words.
“Dr. Kelley, for 40 plus years I was ashamed of my teeth. In front of the entire class, I was told by my 8th grade music teacher that I should not smile. It was many years ago, but I never forgot how it made me feel. I can now at 60 years of age scratch braces off my bucket list. After my braces were removed, I was finally able to share with my husband why it was so important for me to see an orthodontist. Thanks to you and your staff I couldn’t be more proud of my brand new smile.”
I am thankful Debra was able to attain the smile she has longed for since 8th grade. I am touched by her willingness to let our office know her story. Her story is a great reminder to me to choose my words wisely each day with my wife, children, and patients. Each of us can build others up or tear them down simply by the words we express to others.
I tell my kids all the time that our words have meaning. Most of the things we say will be forgotten. (Thank God!) But other things we say will forever be engrained in the minds and hearts to whom we speak. These words can either bring life or they can bring pain and suffering. I want my words to always bring life, to bring transformation, to bring positive change and hope. One thing is for sure, our words have meaning. They are either building up or tearing down. I encourage you to choose today who you will be... and then proclaim it through your words!