What People Will Always Remember

Days ago, the world lost Maya Angelou. And upon her death, I remembered the only quote that ever stuck with me:

people will forget what you said and what you did, but people will always remember how you make them feel

Days ago, I was experimenting with means of communication, specifically, seeing how effective being direct with others would be. In my mind, I thought being direct would be most efficient, “do this. “ok, but which this or that?” “do that, then.” Done and done.

Oh, how wrong I was…

What I thought was being efficient and direct was being received as mean, disrespectful, hostile, and overall speaking with an attitude.

In essence, my being direct made things worse, communicatively

People have a wide range of assumptions and expectations, feelings and tolerances, and there is a huge gap for things to get vastly mistranslated.

People indeed need things to be clear, but not direction or even words, what people need most is to have clear feelings and intentions coming from one another. A smile, a kind gesture, even a slight touch, with gentleness and a loving heart, can penetrate any sort of mean demeanor one can possess. 

Heh, looking back, it was kinda silly of me to think that being direct and otherwise emotionless, would result in anything but utter disaster. 

No, people will always remember the way they feel whenever they’re around you, whether it’s feeling like you’re needed, loved, disrespected, or even hated. Which is probably why once a bond of trust with someone is broken, it’s hard to regain it, because they’ll always remember that feeling of betrayal.

So in order to truly conquer the hearts of others, it’s not by force or fear, but with love. If we can learn to be compassionate towards others, we can help them, guide them, and even teach them to help others. 

Heh, it’s like the Sun and North Wind all over again. It’s funny how much power lies in a smile towards someone. If you do it long enough, they won’t remember the act of you smiling at them, but the feeling that you are smiling with them.


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