Faith and Family

Words Can Make a Difference

Woman using her cellphone

I TALK TO MYSELF. I think we all do a little bit, at least in our heads. I don’t think it’s weird; it feels necessary. When I started my clothing business, I began recording myself on my laptop’s webcam anytime something new or exciting would happen. Sometimes, I would talk through a design I was making. Other times, I would film myself during the checkout of my biggest inventory purchase, when I was packing an exciting order, or right before my first in-person sale event. You get the idea. 

These videos ranged anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, consisting of tears of stress and frustration to the silence of anticipation. The words from one of these video diaries, in particular, have changed so many people’s lives. 

Back in March, when I was feeling particularly stressed and down, I called my dad. I recorded the call, because I felt that I needed to quit my business that I had worked so hard on for three years. I didn’t think that I was making enough money. Our conversation went something like this: 

“I really like doing it, but I don’t feel like I’m making a lot of money, which is OK.” 

“Well, are you able to pay your bills?” my dad asked, to which I said yes. 

“Are you able to live and have some fun?” Again, I said yes. 

“Well, let’s think about how cool that is. You get to have fun and live. You’re still making it—you’re not making a lot, but you’re still making it, you know. There’s a lot to be said for that. A lot of businesses don’t even make it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think you’re doing a great job.” 

I took the audio from that phone call and put it on a video of some moments of me running my business. The Internet took the audio from that phone call and changed my world. I guess they needed to hear it too. 

Overnight, thousands of comments flooded in, with people sharing how they wished they had a father like mine or that my dad’s words had reminded them of their late father. I had strangers from around the world sharing with me how powerful those words were, for so many different reasons.  

They said that it had helped to heal something in their inner child. Some said they took the words my dad shared as a sign to quit their jobs and pursue their passions, that they are doing the right thing, and that maybe the world isn’t so scary. 

As I read through the comments, I realized how many people needed to hear those words that my dad shared with me, and it brings me to tears every time I think about it. Dreams need encouragement, souls need care, people need guidance, and people need to hear positive words. Because when it comes down to it, we’re all just trying to make it, and caring words can make a difference. As my dad told me, “Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think you’re doing a great job.” 

Learn about Sister Thea Bowman!


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