Deb Sofield


Life is an Echo

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I saw a poster the other day that said, “Life is an echo, what you send out comes back. What you sow you reap. What you give you get. What you see in others exists in you. Do not judge so you will not be judged. Radiate and give love and love comes back to you.”

That is an interesting, thought that life is an echo. I guess I never thought about it that way. It seems to me that most of the time, when I do something, I assume it dissipates and does not stay around to be recalled back to me over and over like an echo down a mountain path. A few times when I was growing up, due to the location, I was at a place where an echo could be heard. It’s an odd sensation to hear your voice resonate down the canyon. You remember as a kid, or even as an adult, when the opportunity presented itself that you called down the way to hear your voice echo back up to you… hello, hello, hello, those were the good old days

But it seems now when we speak most of us assume our words go away into the air, never to be heard again. They seem to just dissipate or fall on deaf ears. We do good deeds and someone says thank you and then its over. There are very few times when we expect to reap what we sow – life’s disappointments seem to cloud out that option.

We give to our church, our school, and our community and receive a nice thank you note or a tax write-off, but most of us do not expect anything big in return. I doubt many truly believe that the measure of what one gives they receive in return. And when it comes to the thought that what I see in others exists in me – I hope only the good is what exists in me and nothing else. And of course most of us grew up with the phrase about not judging others (although we all do it) so I’ll leave that one alone for today.

About the only thing on the poster that I knew for certain was if you give love to family, friends, and others, you have a good chance of feeling a sense of love returned. The poster had an effect on me because it seems so true for today’s standards. And if everything I do is mirrored in some way that reflects who I am and what I do or what I believe in – Yikes, that’s an eye opener that I was not expecting.

How about you? If your life is an echo what are you hearing? What are you sending out that comes back to you?

I spend a lot of time on words: why they matter, how they have meaning and how we need to be careful about what we say. If life is an echo and comes back to us, it might hurt us to hear what we said. I used this quote awhile back but I love the thought, “…be sure you taste your words before you spit them out.” And on a gentler note: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” Friends, what are you sending out that is coming back that reflects you – the real you?

I think it is interesting that so many people think they can say whatever they want because it’s their right or they have freedom of speech and they are entitled to their opinion. While all of that may be true, you well know the world doesn’t work that way anymore. If you say it, it will echo back or someone will echo back at you with your words.

I see this in politics and business and the church – from our leaders and those who would like to be. For some reason they don’t think that what they say will be an echo back. They forget that it will be repeated and remembered and posted on Facebook and Twitter and everywhere else. Why anyone would think that is beyond me. When we have so many ways to capture the spoken word and replay it, don’t be surprised when it gets ground into dust.

Friends, we have a responsibility to guard what we send out because it will come back on us. It will reflect how others see us and, just like looking in a mirror, we should want our reflection to show our true heart, our true meaning our true desire. To better state it-our truth and not what others interpret our truth to be.

If life is an echo, let’s think about what we sow in comparison to what we reap. I know that if you sow discord, you’ll reap heartache but if you sow kindness you will reap joy.

Think about how this works in life. You and I know good-hearted people who have sown kindness in word and deed and now, at the end of their days, they are sought out and heralded for their wisdom and kindness. Now compare that to those who finagled the companies books to benefit themselves and a few of their crony’s before the organization fell. No one is reaching out to them unless it is through their lawyer.

Do not think for one minute that you can sow lies, or hate, stealing or revenge without it coming back on you or your family. And let me remind you that if you have found yourself in this predicament friend, make it right while you can. There will come a time when you can’t and the world will be told about your sowing and reaping.

This is the same idea as: “What you give you get.” What do you give to others? Are you generous with your time, your talent, or your money? I know that there is only so many hours in a day so giving away too much will not serve you well. But are you considering what you can give? Are you willing or are you holding back because frankly you just don’t want to? I fully understand that we can only give so much before the well runs dry, but please hear me. I believe you have a responsibility to refresh yourself and give back what you can because others might need what you can provide.

My guest today is a member of SCORE (service corps of retired executives). These are men and women who give back because they have the time and talent.  I dare say, to a person, these folks gave of themselves while they sat in the executive chairs, so giving back now is just an extension of who they were then. If you don’t learn to give now it will not be a part of your internal compass later. You will struggle to find your way to receive the blessings of gratitude.

For some of you today, this next phrase-what you see in others – exists in you- is a scary thought. Have you ever found yourself not really liking someone and yet you can’t put your finger on why until someone else says, “oh you’re just like so-and-so.” Then it hits you that you both have the same quirky qualities-yours aren’t that bad of course, but what a rude awakening. If what you see in others exists in you that should give you pause for reflection. If you don’t like what you see, only you can make that change for the better.

I’m not going to spend time on “do not judge,” because frankly we all do it even though we say we don’t and we know deep in our hearts that we should not. I believe that if we saw everyone as our grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, uncle, aunt or friend, our world would be a very different place. In fact, if that were true we could put the human back into humanity and wouldn’t that be good for all of us?

Finally, “radiate and give love and love comes back to you.” Now this is one we all know is true, but what are you going to do about it? Are you going to give of yourself for others? Are you going to empty yourself for other who you claim to love and care for respect and admire? I hope so because when that happens love really does comes back to you. Love in its purest form comes back to you and that is an echo I think we’d all love to hear.

Life is an echo; all comes back the good, the bad, the false, and the true. So, give the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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