“Extas”

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

— Leo F. Buscaglia

It’s easy to see what’s missing.

(extra)

Last night at our monthly Feedbackers Toastmasters meeting, I wrote on the white board,

“Exta”

It made for a good group laugh when someone spotted the missing “r” in “Extra”.

Spotting a missing letter in a word is easy for most of us. A word doesn’t look quite right when we’ve dropped a consonant or a vowel. It’s what we’ve come to expect since the invention of the modern orthography. Misspelled words are easy to see in the 21st century.

But seeing what’s never been there is difficult.

If you read the handwritten journals of Lewis and Clark, you’ll see an incredible number of words we would considered misspelled. But because the “correct” spelling wasn’t chosen until Webster’s dictionary was invented, the two explorers wouldn’t ever have known if they “droped a ‘p'” or “omited a ‘t’.”

It’s like that with many of the intangibles in life.

If you weren’t taught to be generous as a child then it’s going to make it difficult to see the utility of being generous as an adult. If affection was shunned in your family growing up, you’re less likely to show affection to your own children.

Yet, it is precisely those missing intangibles – generosity, love, affection, patience, courtesy, persistence, listening, kindness – that can bring so much joy to our lives and the lives of others. They are the “extas” that don’t show up on the balance sheet at the end of the month, the “extas” that can turn a bad day to good, the “extas” that can change the course of a day, or a life.

They are there for us to give, not take. And by giving those little “extas” you can make an ordinary life, “exta”ordinary.

Maybe yours.


Yesterday’s gift of time … hosted our monthly Feedbackers Toastmasters meeting, also am in the process of helping one of our fellow members plan and organize an open house for the club next month. 

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About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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