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“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

–Nelson Mandela

It’s been a wild few weeks.  Sometimes we know the impression or difference we make in someone’s life and much more often, we have no idea.  I visited a friend who lives in memory care and who knows she loves even if she doesn’t know why or from when.  It reminded me deeply of the impressions we make on our hearts, not our heads.

Earlier this year, I had asked a United Way volunteer about a mutual person we knew, and word got back to James.  James gave generously of his time to United Way, and we were able to help him too.  It was full circle, and I knew he had moved away years ago.  He was in a tragic accident that left him quite injured and likely paralyzed for the rest of his life.  He called me a few weeks ago and we had a beautiful conversation about how much we cared for each other and acknowledged the kindnesses we had shared.  It was so good to hear his voice.

Last Friday afternoon, I had the remarkable privilege to talk with another volunteer who left the area years ago.  Life hasn’t been easy for her.  And in the conversation, I realized how important it is for us to talk to people who knew us when we were at our best.  It’s how I know her.  She was at her best and it’s possible to find that again.

It’s important to me to live by Nelson Mandela’s quote above.  I want to speak to you in your language.  Help me to make sure I do.