Last week, during our team building activity for the office, one session entailed us to reveal, through a small group discussion, some intimate things about our selves: our inspiration for doing things, what we deem our greatest professional success, what was holding us back from becoming the best version of our selves.
One question that was beauty pageant-ish that baffled me no end was the one which asked what was God’s greatest gift to me.
My first instinct was to say Words.
That words are a powerful tool could be the understatement of the millennium.
Through words, with or without bloodshed, empires have been built, revolutions sparked, dictators toppled.
Through words, across the ages, religions have been spread, ideals fueled, mythology passed on.
Through words, for whatever they are worth, achievements have been celebrated, morons
roasted, bigots berated.
Through words, in the worst of times, grief has been extinguished, fears assuaged, hope sparked.
Through words, in the best of times, love has been professed, devotion reassured, forever promised.
But in the end, I told my small group that God’s greatest gift to me was my family.
It was, is, my family, regardless of our age, who nurtured my faith, fueled my ideals, fanned the flames of my love for words- written, spoken, and even sung.
It was, is, my family, for whatever they are worth, celebrated my achievements, reminded me when I was acting moronic, and reminded me of tolerance when bigotry was the easier way to go.
In the best of times, my family extinguished my grief, assuaged my fears, stoked the embers of my hope.
In the worst of times, even sans words, my family has made me feel loved, with their perfect devotion, realistic enough to NOT promise forever but loving me here and now.
Dictionaries are filled with thousands of words, but they will never be quite as comforting as a thirty-second conversation with my sister at the end of an infernal day or a minute of parental soliloquy extolling the importance of finding a partner in life.
They will never suffice but here’s me thanking them, for everything, through words.