“You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know.”
– General Antiope from “Wonder Woman
Riding horses is one of the greatest privileges on this earth. Each day at the barn, I have the opportunity to work with these individual, free-thinking, and majestic creatures. Every horse, however, reminds me on one occasion or another that they could spook or otherwise embrace their natural flight instincts instead of looking to me for guidance. It is my job to be strong. It is my job to think past the scary plastic bag crinkling in the wind. It is my job to convince a 1,200 lb fearful animal that I am not afraid and therefore they shouldn’t be either. I know, it’s sometimes easier said than done, but “you have greater powers than you know.”
The same can be said for interacting with society. We have the incredible opportunity to interact with other humans on a daily basis and yet so often we do not recognize how powerful we are. With one seemingly simple word, we can change the entire course of someone’s life. We can use that power for good or evil, and sometimes we may not even realize it’s an impactful moment in time. What may be a spontaneous reaction could be devastating to another person or, quite possibly, be the open door they were needing for the rest of their life to begin.
I will challenge you to be quick to think but slow to speak. Be ok with 10 seconds of silence as you formulate your answer, response, or follow up question. Take a moment to think about the possible consequences, whether positive or negative, and weigh the risks and benefits of what you’re about to say.
Also, notice if the other person is uncomfortable with the small pause and ask yourself why. There is strength, power, knowledge, and wisdom in that moment of silence and whether you are dealing with a flight animal or a flighty human, remember that you are stronger than you believe and have greater powers than you know.