Words matter, dear Frank.


Here’s a story that came to my mind recently, and it speaks about doubt and impact; you’ll love it. A few years ago, on a gorgeous Sunday morning, I was waiting for my other AltMBA group to join our project session and was chatting to Peet about his Stanford experience. Two of my fave people, Steinbeck and Sapolsky, have been there. It’s on a personal bucket list of sorts. Anyhoo, Peet said to me something along the lines of …

I’d say curious people like you, Andra, can find their place at Stanford, for sure.

It took a while for that one to sink in.
A) someone actually appreciated my inquisitive mind, and
B) the comment made it a possible reality.

Actually, this is not a story about me going to Stanford (yet). Instead, it is a reminder that words matter. That fleeting comment Peet made in our conversation helped me realise that people like me can do things like this, and it forever changed how I see my innate curiosity. It also made me very mindful of what I say and how I say it.

What might be super obvious to me might be less so to others, or what might be simple for some might be excruciatingly painful for others. So, don’t just throw words around next time you talk to someone. That kind of carelessness might end up hurting someone.

In Tao, they say, think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world. I believe this is one of those situations, for sure. Don’t throw words around if you’re aware of the choice.