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"The Pen is Mightier than the Sword"

Said by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, a British novelist and playwright in 1839. Simply put, we can accomplish a lot more with our minds and our words than with our tongues and our tempers. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment of things and act in an instant. Instead, take a deep breath, walk away and document. 

It seems the summer months bring a lot of violence to our city, as well as others, and I’m not sure why. Is it the heat? Is it because school is out and while parents are at work, kids have nothing better to do? Or is it because people are just out more? 

Either way, it is a sad sentiment for our society and I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, but here are some ways to calm it down and write it down.

  • When you feel ready to blow, take a few deep breaths, grab some paper and write down your thoughts right before you felt angry. Even if it is just words, write it down and get it out. Go back to when you have calmed down and see if you can put it together. Finding what triggered you will help you avoid it in the future.

  • Always have a notebook and pen with you. In your purse. In the car. In a coat pocket. This way, you don’t have to rely on your memory. I know I’m at the age where I cannot always rely on my memory. The sooner you can write stuff down, the sooner you will calm down.

  • If you are in a dangerous situation. Make sure you are safe first and foremost. But then, separate what you could control in that situation and what you couldn’t. In 1990 (while 8 months pregnant), I was a manager at Little Caesars. It was close to closing time when two gunmen walked in. One held a gun to my scared 16-year-old cashier and the other held a gun to my stomach. I maintained my calmness and said if they wanted the money they were going to have to let me get to the register. They allowed that and there was only $30 bucks in there which they took and left. I could not control the fact we were being robbed, but I could control how quick the robbery would take. At least that was my thinking that if I could get to the register, give them the money they would leave and I was right. The sooner you can decipher the two, the calmer you will be.

If you have survived trauma, writing a memoir can be healing not only for you, but for those who will read it. There is power in words. Always remember that.

Until next time…

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