“I’ve 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
I am reminded of this through my relationships as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, student, and simply as a human being. It is true that we forget a lot of things about a person and what they have done or said, but never how bad or good someone has made us feel. The feeling a person left behind will linger like sulfur in the air, if negative, or like a fragrant Spring morning, if positive. Our five senses are linked to our memory. How often have you encountered a fragrant familial aroma? How often has that permeating scent reminded you of a specific event or era in your life? Or, perhaps, you can’t pin point the event, but it reminds you of a specific feeling, perhaps positive, perhaps negative. A way someone has made you feel can bring a smile to your face or can have you nauseated with ghastly admonitions. I have to admit, I strive to provide my loved ones with affirming positive feelings, but, as a mother, it is not always possible. I do feel like I, perhaps being the disciplinarian, I fail, lack and fall short in the eyes of my children. This punctures me much like a balloon that is no longer full of air and can be injected with a needle, to diminish it, but, in fact, releases air slowly and, dreadfully, everlastingly long. I know that if I don’t guide and reinforce the rules, I will make the mistake of allowing them to have a fictitious perception of life, but I do leave a negative feeling in the process. Perhaps my presentation? Especially my oldest, she has such a strong personality, if it isn’t her way then, everyone is mean. I have tried to break that for ten years, to no avail. Life will continue, I will continue, but a memory of how someone makes you feel can cut deep. It can knock the wind right out of you or it can have you soaring through the sky. I think that because our actions and words will be linked to how we make others feel, it is worth to go the extra mile to imprint positive feelings.
How will you make others feel today?