In today’s fast paced life we often take for granted we know the meaning of words. In my practitioner studies I became keenly aware that definitions of words shift and change. Words I thought I knew what they meant I did not, new words emerged. In the 24/7 acronym, emoji world we live in, often we do not take time to get clear about what a word, or in this case a holiday means.
This morning I was reflecting on the upcoming holiday weekend when I asked myself, what could I tell you that would make a difference for this holiday? I am honored to have many veterans in my framily (friend+family). So I asked them – What is the one thing you would want the general public to know or do this Memorial Day?
There is only one answer you need to know and it came from my beloved friend Phil Gerbyshak. In a text he changed my life and how I look at this holiday forever.
He texted me, Holly I want people to know the difference between Veterans Day (all Veteran’s who serve) and Memorial Day (those who gave all.)
Wow – this one really struck me. I’ll be honest I’ve sat at many a Memorial day BBQ not deeply truly feeling the truth of this day. I honor my freedom. I know people perished fight for that freedom, but the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day totally slipped my consciousness.
Second Phil said, I would like people to honor the training that those who choose military service receive – it is as good or better as a traditional college degree.
I pause to point out that Phil did not mention BBQ’s, fireworks, thanking a Veteran or visiting a cemetery. He mentioned something as simply as truly getting what this day means. Knowing Phil I know what he meant was know the difference between the intellectual meaning of this day and the heart and soul of this day. Countless men and women have died fighting or our freedom. They died so we can truly live. This year I have lost many friends. I ask myself each day, am I truly living my purpose? Am I honoring those who died, or served with how I choose to serve in my life?
The more I learn the more there is to learn. The more words I speak the more words there are to get clear on. My favorite song now-a-days is by Tim McGraw (Yes another fact check – I’m a country music woman.) is Always Be Humble and Kind. While there are a lot of things to do this Memorial Day weekend, may you honor the veterans (all who serve) and those who never got the chance to be a Veteran this weekend by choosing to always be humble and kind.
I wasn’t expecting this day, or writing this blog to be so enlightening. One simple question gave me a huge opportunity to do a personal fact check. Where do you need a fact check in you life?