can you hear me now?

Earlier this week I spoke to a group of  high school kids.  It was an adventure.   Most of these kids had been ordered by a judge to spend a week in this Youth Court Training.   I was one of ten people who were asked to talk with them.  The topic I was asked to address was “how to make the best of life what hands you.” I am sure I learned more from them than they from me.  cupandstring

At the end of my time with them I asked what they’d gotten out of our time together.    A guy in the back of the room who’d been doodling the whole time I’d been there said, “We gotta keep our swag up.”


The whole group began yelling in agreement at once.   After I reminded them that old people can ony hear one voice at a time they took turns explaining what “keeping up your swag” means to them (and yes, these are their words!):

– what kind of day I have is up to me

– life ain’t always fair, but I can always be fair to myself and others

– don’t do things just because everyone else is doing them

– pay more attention to the good than the bad

– spend time with people who are good for us

– don’t take things personally

– respect ourselves so the people we respect will respect us

– I’m not in control of anything except my choices – so I gotta make good ones

wOw!   They heard me.  They really heard me.  Who knew?

What’s heard really IS more important that what’s said.   How do you make sure people hear you?  And hey, how do you keep up your swag <grin>?

5 thoughts on “can you hear me now?

  1. Not taking things personally is SO important. More often than not, the reason someone does or says something has something to do with him or her and not you. It’s not always easy to remember this, but I think it’s the most important one in this list and the one that works best for me!

  2. Ditto on the “not taking things personally” challenge – so important but, man, it’s hard…

    My dogs help me with my swag, ’cause I get to watch their very individual, very distinctly different canine swags. Great entertainment and stress relief!!!


  3. yay for you and your dear dogs, Pickett. mine do the same for me.
    and THANKS for your last minute reminder ~ INDEED (especially in MY case!).

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