Loose Lips (do indeed) Sink Ships
Dating back to the days of World War 2……this common American phrase warned those that had valuable, sensitive, war info to keep a tight reign on what their lips divulged. Literally, loose lips could lead to the sinking of US war ships, should spies find themselves within listening range.
Decades later, the concept of loose lips – or the unmanaged verbal reactions that we have – can lead to the sinking or the ending of something quite valuable.
I believe one such ship of great value is a simple word, INFORMATION.
In his book “Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman”, the late great Dr Myles Munroe declared a power-infused statement, “…where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable”.
He went on to say, the following,
“We have many opinions and perceptions regarding what things should be like or what they are for, but God has a purpose for everything that He made. Therefore, what you think the purpose of something is, and what its purpose actually is, could be different. The problem is that, if your plans are not in keeping with God’s purpose, then you will either suffer yourself or inflict abuse on others, because where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable. If you don’t know the purpose of a thing, all you will do is abuse it, no matter how sincere, committed, serious, or innocent you are.”
“We shouldn’t attempt to use anything until we find out why it exists, because when we don’t know what the maker intended for it, we will not treat his creation appropriately. We need to fully understand that where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable. If you don’t know what was in the mind of the maker of a thing, all you can do, at best, is not use it properly. However, usually, you will go beyond that and abuse it.”
The cliff notes version is this…
…when we don’t understand how valuable information is, we’re bound to abuse it.
In my humble opinion, we are becoming a community of people that are prone to react instead of respond…haul off instead of reflect and investigate…go alllllll in instead of holding our peace. The challenge with becoming so quick to react instead of pausing, reflecting and then responding (if necessary) is that you can easily fall into the category of what we will coin from here to the end of our time together in this post as PURPOSE ABUSE.
Allow me share two examples with you:
1) The Etsy Escapade
For a couple decades, I’ve done my own nails – the tips, acrylic, filing, painting etc. I’m a woman that likes to save my coins wherever I can! And at a young age, I figured I could save myself a nice piece of change if I learned to do my own nails. So I continued to watch the women at the nail salon for technique tips and tricks, hit up Sally’s Beauty Supply and practiced, practiced, practiced. Over the years, this has been a coin saver fa sho!
My current nail look is a solid color with 1 accent nail on each hand. For the event that I mentioned last week, I wanted to jazz things up and have some real sparkly accent nails. So me and my friend Google went to work. I found a very talented nail artist on the site Etsy.
A couple weeks out from the event…
I reached out to the artits about shipping times. She was on vacation, so her initial response was a bit slow, but hey, if I was on vacay, I would be the same way. The lag in response though, brought us closer to when I needed them and shifted us into an expedited shipping scenario – which was fine with me. And she mentioned that she offered it, so all was moving along well.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t locate the rush shipping option, but ordered the nails anyway and noted in my order and inquired separately about how to pay for the rush shipping. I never heard back. I inquired again and still nothing.
Time is truly of the essence at this point…
…so with no response, I opted to go with a different vendor – who responded immediately and shipped a similar nail option the same day.
I went back to the original vendor and very politely requested a refund. Welllll, now this is where things went left! The response was swift and terse – a paragraph in length and included some words in ALL CAPS (you know how you yell at someone in email right? Use ALL CAPS!). 🙂 Needless to say, the owner’s displeasure with the reason for my refund request was crystal clear and, in my personal opinion, quite unprofessional.
You see, my plan was to feature all of the vendors that I worked with on my blog and social media outlets so that some hopefully some business would come their way. I mean, I don’t claim to have a huge swath of followers, friends and subscribers…but it truly only takes 1 set of eyes to see what you offer and it could catapult your business to amazing places or at the minimum, position you in arenas and before audiences you may not have otherwise been privy to.
This is by no means intended to be a judgement of the nail artist. As I shared with her, her incredible talent based on the pictures and reviews was undeniably amazing! Unfortunately, because of the unacceptable level of customer service provided and lack of communication, I was not comfortable recommending and featuring the salon.
In this instance, a lack of information about how valuable customer service can be to the end user, led to a financial loss.
Kelli Michelle Takeaway to apply to my own life: Take an internal inventory and continue to sharpen and manage any reactionary impulses I may have…I could be forgoing opportunities to be impactful in my own life assignment if I’m not mindful of the purpose to which something or someone is fulfilling.
2) The Dove Caper
Having had sensitive skin from a young age and an ongoing battle with facial acne from puberty through my mid 20s, I’ve been quite selective when it comes to the products that I use on my body and my face, in particular. I learned in my teens, that simple was the best way to go for me. And that simple was good ol’ fashioned Dove face soap followed with some Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Cream. Yes, that pink moisturizing goodness has been with me through break-ups, make-ups, inter and intra-state moves, weight gain, weight loss and all of the stuff that just comes with life! 🙂
After some time, I ventured out to add the moisturizing shower gel and deodorant to my daily regimen – all of which has been mmm, mmm, good to my skin over the 20+ years.
So imagine my surprise…
…when I received a text message a couple weeks ago, asking me was I aware of the Dove racially insensitive, commercial controversy. All of the “woke-ness” hairs on the back of my neck stood at full attention. I meannnn, do you even understand what we have at stake here people?
- I’m talking about having to replace my beloved soap, deodorant andddd shower gel if these folks over at Dove have crossed the proverbial racial ignorance line?
- Do you understand that now I’m going to have to research all new products – painstakingly go through rounds of testing to see how they work on and with my sometimey-sensitive skin?
- Do you understand that like Donna Summer so profoundly belted in 1983, “I work hard for the money”? I work hard for these here coins and I am chosey with where I place them! And I simply ain’t got time for no mis-use of my coinage!
All of these thoughts are racing through my mind as I google “Dove commercial”, await the results to populate and then view what was initially a screen shot of one of the scenes in the commercial. And based on the screen shot alone, one could come to a conclusion that the entire commercial was offensive to women/people of color.
Aw man, here we go…now I’ve got to start my research. Where do I even begin?? Remember, I’m singing Donna Summer tunes in my mind…I work hard for my coins? And I simply can’t support blatant (nor subtle) disrespect of women that look like me! I mean, I need to have a Dove Burning Party – where all of my products are symbolically destroyed…I need to go on my social media platforms and sound the alarm!
Oh the thoughts that were swirling in my mind for the next 48 hrs!!
And then I saw the full commercial
And lo and behold I actually wasn’t offended. In the interest of not making this post too, too long, I’ll refrain from sharing my detailed reasoning. But the bottom line is…I was not offended.
Now imagine if I had gone full steam ahead with my Dove Bonfire Extravaganza…called for a product ban on my social media pages and spent an exorbitant amount of time researching new products all based on a screen shot? None of that would have been the end of the world (sounds like 1st world problems right?). However, it would have been Purpose Abuse. The time effort and energy that would have been dedicated to those things could have easily been devoted to more worthwhile causes related to my life assignment.
Kelli Michelle Takeaway to apply to my own life: Before I allow a morsel of the full story to take me down a rabbit hole, I need to be sure that I’m taking a step back, assessing the entire situation, listening for the voice of the God – who leads, guides and directs us if we allow Him to – and then respond accordingly.
I could go on and on about the instances in which I have allowed my loose lips to sink some ships in my life. However, once I grabbed a hold of the fact that I need to manage my mind and my mouth and stop perpetrating PURPOSE ABUSE, I’ve been enjoying the fruit that comes along with that labor.
Thank you God and Dr. Munroe for teaching me the value of not being a sink shipper!
Love ya girlie!
photo credit: pinterest.com