The Echoes of Life
Today in my Wisdom-Trek note to you, I would like you to visualize yourself on a narrow path with a wall of stone on our right side and a steep cliff on our left. Across the vast valley is another ridge of mountains. As with life on many days, your path is steep and is strewn with rocks and obstacles of all sizes. It certainly makes the trek of life on those days slow and difficult.
If you were to shout out on this trail you would soon hear your voice echoing back to you the exact message that you shouted. If you express fear, then fear would come shouting back. If you express confidence then confidence would come shouting back to you.
Such as it is with our trek of life. What we project out, comes booming back to us as an echo. This is very similar to the principles of planting and harvesting which I have discussed in many of the podcasts. You will harvest what you plant but much more than you plant.
It is so important that we are always aware that what we say and do does have a significant impact on the lives of others, and as it is returned to us like an echo and will impact us as well.
Zig Ziglar said it this way, “Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.”
What we say can give nourishment and strength as Proverbs 16:24 explains that: “Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Our words can also:
- Be a source of wisdom – “Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook,” Proverbs 18:4.
- Satisfy like a good meal – “Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction,” Proverbs 18:20.
- Hold more value than any riches, “Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies,” Proverbs 20:15.
As we consider the words that we speak to others and even to ourselves, let us reflect on what Mother Teresa said. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless
Our actions can also echo back to us. How we treat others, will ultimately be how we are treated. At times we may be able to mask our words. We may have even mastered how we speak to others, but…“Your words may hide your thoughts, but your actions will reveal them.”
We should always encourage and strengthen everyone that we impact, even in the smallest manner. If you desire to gain wisdom and create a living legacy, then you must inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. These essential leadership skills will become evident since what you inspire in others will come echoing back into your life.
One area that Paula and I have observed in the lives of others is when someone is critical or judgmental of people they usually are critical and judging themselves in the same way. We have concluded that when we judge another person, we do not define them rather we define ourselves.
Think about this in your own life. Are the areas of life in which you are most critical and judgmental toward others, are these the same areas where you have struggles? Are your actions echoing back to you?
I think that Christ put it very succinctly when he spoke about the echo principle when judging others in the book of Matthew 6:37-38, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Talk about a formula for a happy, peaceful, and abundant life. I think this passage pretty much is the secret to success.
Unlike the echo from the mountains at the beginning of this note today, we do not always see an immediate return in what we do. And, that is okay. Otherwise, you are giving to others out of a selfish and impure motive.
The effects of kindness are not always seen immediately. Sometimes it takes years until your kindness will pay off, and is returned to you. And sometimes you never see the fruits of your labors, but they are there, deep inside of the soul of the one you touched. That should be sufficient reward for what we do.
Send out goodness, mercy, kindness, and love each day, and you will receive an abundant echo of the same in return. But, the opposite is also true.
While I try to be very careful not to generalize situations or individuals, we also need to be honest with ourselves. Consider this:
- If you are critical of others.
- If you have a hard time forgiving others.
- If you find others unkind to you.
- If you move from one crisis to another in life.
If any of these statements are true, ask yourself: What am I sending out into the world today? More specifically, what am I sending into the lives of others?
Our problems may not be the fault of others. It may be that we need to change what we are sending out, so that the echoes that come back are encouraging, kind, full of wisdom and helping us to create a living legacy each day.