Let's Change the Subject

Let's Change the Subject

By Shellie Miller-Farrugia

I, Me, My… all words that are useful in crafting communication, but focus the subject squarely on the person speaking (or writing). A pet peeve for most of my career, any of those three words starting the first sentence of any correspondence have me irked from the get go.

My belief is that, more and more often, the acceptable norm has become self-focus instead of self-improvement. I agree that “I am always on my mind,” but I KNOW that the world won’t become a better place for our community if all we discuss is me. Myself, my family, my job, my health…how long will it take you to turn ME off and go back to the subject of YOUR needs, your family, your job, your health? Let’s make a conscious effort to change the subject to OTHERS’ needs, families, jobs and health.

Without a doubt, I know from experience that when a person takes the focus off of themselves and helps another, their own sense of self-worth and value increases. When my children were small, we’d often go visit their Nanny at a residential nursing facility. Every time we’d arrive, we asked the nurse who we could visit that didn’t have family coming in. The changes we saw in those people, from withering and lonely to hopeful and chatty, was just what my own family needed to take the microscope off of our own troubles. The reward of knowing you’ve given such a small thing but made a huge impact on someone else is a lesson in self-improvement that never stops growing the size of one’s heart.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. For decades now, we’ve been seeing pink, wearing pink and thinking pink to remind us to focus on this daunting disease and the many lives and families that it affects. While I think our efforts are commendable and have certainly made a positive shift in our culture, may I be so bold to suggest that it’s not enough? My friend, Denyse Hostig, together with her network of friends, started an incredible movement; Not my Daughter…find a cure now! It began, not solely because of the breast cancer Denyse was diagnosed with but, because dozens of friends surrounded Denyse and her family through the daily tasks of chemo, shuttling children, making dinner, cleaning the house, laundry and the myriad activities required for Denyse’s family to function. Having spoken with that group of friends, I know that none of them would trade the time they each sacrificed in their community effort for something more self-serving.

You have an incredible gift inside of you! Keeping it to yourself does nothing to improve your own well-being or the people and community around you. Do you read, knit, program, sing, pray, change oil, cook, etc? Sharing it with others is a personal accomplishment you can achieve to impact your world in a most beautiful way. WE can’t wait to meet you! Achieve a fulfilling life beyond the status quo.