Sun Sailor Worship Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 • Page 5 Words to live by W ords evoke strong emo- tions. They can raise hopes. And dash dreams. Words can build us up. Or tear us down. Words shape the way we think and feel and act. Sometimes, our words become more real than the things they stand for. That’s why we need to be careful about the words we choose to talk about others and about ourselves – especially about ourselves. In our society, most of the words we use to describe aging and older adults (including our- selves) are negative. We talk a lot about loss, decline and limitations. We seldom say anything about the joys and gifts of aging. (Yes, there are some. There’s a reason Oprah Winfrey said, “Growing older is the best thing that ever happened to me.”) Americans badmouth the reaching of 60, 70 or beyond. We talk about memory loss, aches and pains and all the things we can’t do as well anymore. As seniors, we could just as well talk about all the things we can do and can enjoy for the fi rst time in our lives. But we don’t. Eventually, many of us begin to believe our own bad press. Society’s negative messages about aging and our own nega- tive self-talk becomes a self-ful- fi lling prophecy. That’s why older folks often act out the words they hear about themselves. We become our own words. I wonder what would happen if we started talking up the good points about aging. Bob Ramsey Guest Columnist St. Louis Park resident Bob Ramsey is a lifelong educator, freelance writer and advocate for vital aging. He can be contacted at 952-922-9558 or by email at Psychologists have long known about the power of affi rmative feedback and positive self-talk. As it turns out, how we talk to ourselves about ourselves defi nes our self-image and our percep- tion of what we’re capable of. Our conversations with our- selves infl uence who we are and what we do. Now, I’m not saying that you can talk yourself into being hap- pier, more confi dent, more satis- fi ed and more fulfi lled. Well, yes, I am! You may not be able to talk yourself out of grow- ing older, but you can talk your way into a better second half of life. The story goes that famed art- ist Salvador Dali began each day by looking in the mirror and say- ing, “What momentous thing will he do today, this prodigious Sal- vador Dali?” Old Dali may have been on to something. After all, he actually did accomplish many monumen- tal things. Of course, positive self-talk doesn’t have to be over-the-top; it just has to be positive. It may be as simple as saying to yourself each day, “I’m enough! Enough to handle, cope, solve, succeed and survive no matter what happens.” This may be all it takes to set you up for a better day. I experienced how the power of positive self-talk works a few years ago by conducting an un- scientifi c little experiment on myself. While taking my morning walk in a local mall, I recited to myself random uplifting words such as heal, soar, aspire, ascend, tran- scend, reclaim, restore, grow and achieve. As I repeated these positive messages over and over, I began to feel more expansive, empow- ered and energized. When I fi nished, I was buoyed up and ready for the day. Part of it was the effect of the exercise. But part of it was also the impact of sending affi rma- tions to myself. Self-talk works. When we reaffi rm ourselves and cheer ourselves on, good things happen. The point is that we can age with greater gusto if we change the way we think and talk about ourselves. It’s time to quit repeat- ing the same old tired negative messages about aging. Instead, if we repeatedly re- mind ourselves of all the posi- tives in our lives, we can actually feel better, do better and be bet- ter. Words can change our lives. So what words will you live by? LETTERS TO THE EDITOR You hit a home run on the new newspaper, website format To the Editor: Having previously published magazines, I wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoy- ing your paper’s new format – both the print and the website. Both are far more manageable to read and navigate: the typeface is an improvement, the layout clean and sensi- ble, and I actually read many more ads than I used to. The print version’s tabloid size makes it much easier to read when sitting at a table, and the mail delivery means no more wet pa- pers. In short, I know what goes into redesigning a newspaper/magazine, as well as the myriad ways it can go wrong. In World Series par- lance, you hit a home run. Kelly Guncheon Plymouth A heartfelt thank you To the Editor: A huge thank you to each and every commu- nity diaper bank collec- tion site and each and every resident who do- nated to the fall Diaper Need Awareness Drives in the community. During September and October, 14,861 diapers and pull-ups were donated 6,744 baby wipes. In addition, SuperVa- lu and Huggies matched donations and donated to the Diaper Bank of MN, resulting in an- other 16,848 diapers to the HUG program, for a total HUG Fall Drive donation of 31,709 dia- pers and pull-ups. A very special thank you to everyone for your donations. During October, HUG gave out over 11,000 diapers and pull-ups to families. With one in three families struggling to provide adequate dia- per changes for their children, the need is great. HUG and the Diaper Bank of Min- nesota can only pro- vide these resources to families through broad- based community sup- port. A special thank you to the following fall community diaper drive sites and those who helped with the coordination: Amma Parenting, Bellies to Babies, Brookdale Library,Crystal City Hall, Hennepin County HSPHD, Little Folks Daycare, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth, New Hope City Hall, New Hope Learning Center ECFE and Osseo ECFE. If you wish to donate diapers or need diapers for your children, please contact the Helping Us G ɽ܀!U)Ѐ̴д́ȁ)!Uɽܹɜ)!Úɽ)ɽ٥́Ё)٥ͥѥѼ́)ѥѥ)ݥѠЁѼ(Ȁ͔ɱ䁱ɸ)́ɕٕȄ)]Ѡ݅ɵЁɔ)ɑ́љ)ѡ̰)5!ͽ)I͑)5!ͽ́ѡɽɅ)ɕѽȁȁ!Úɽ(`ptHLh( PL< @4($,<0D8$@<( $ ((@,hT($ ((8,0\,D@((dd,$T( ((x,hT(  ,8$(080,< 0(DP\l$@`