Monday, November 8, 2010

I Represent—Taking Upon His Name

Everything we do should be to glorify God and become more like him, right? Our education should serve to further the kingdom. I’ve always believed this, but it was discouraging to me for a while. As most of you know, I attend Brigham Young University, and I am a Communications major with a Public Relations emphasis. I love it, but what does that have to do with making me more like God? I struggled with that for some time; I love what I learn, but is it really something that will help me further the kingdom and prepare for the eternities. I was getting a little frustrated until one day I simplified everything I’ve learned in PR to one key aspect of what I do: I represent.

Essentially, as a public relations professional, I voluntarily choose to take on a company/person/organization/etc and I communicate their message; I become their advocate to the rest of the world. As a representative for an entity I realize that when people see me, they judge whoever I represent by my behavior, speech, and even my appearance. I commit to do or say nothing that would negatively reflect on my client. Any true professional knows and lives by this rule. As a public relations professional I never advocate for anything that goes against my morals or values, I truly believe in whatever I represent.

As I was thinking about being in public relations, I realized that many of the commitments and goals of public relations are commitments that I made when I was eight years old. When I was baptized I took upon the name of Christ, and I agreed to represent Him and be an advocate for Him and His cause. This means that because I choose to be a representative of Christ, everything I do can potentially negatively impact others view of Him.

I committed to always make sure that my appearance reflects the values of the Savior by following the standards he has set exactly. That means I should never try to stretch the rules of modesty or appropriate attire. Additionally, my language should always imitate the Savior’s, and this includes more than just avoiding a list of expletives. My language should always be appropriate in every way; it should be uplifting, not degrading; kind, not cruel; and understanding, not judgmental. Furthermore, my behavior should always be such that if someone seeks to know the Savior love, they can find it in me.

The skills I learn in public relations can help me in many things. I learn to communicate better, I learn to advocate for causes that I believe in, and I learn to become a better representative of Christ.

Challenge: Become a better representative of Christ. You took upon his name, and you know what it means. Strive to eliminate anything in your life that impedes your capacity to be an effective representative of our Savior. Clean up your language, fix your clothes, hair, and appearance in general, behave in a way that shows not only how much you love Christ, but how much He loves everyone as well.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Language--Seeing Through Your Ears

“Language best shows a man; speak, that I may see thee”

Language is a part of our lives every day. In our hi-tech world we are always communicating. Between text messaging, social networking, email, and more, we are not limited to arranging face-to-face conversations to talk anymore. While whether this is a good or bad thing is a subject for a different post, this change does serve as evidence that we are using language to communicate more than ever before.

Now that it has been established that we are almost constantly communicating, what does that have to do with the quote? Every time we communicate, or use language, we are revealing a piece of the puzzle that is our identity. Don’t believe me? Think about this situation. Angela and Kathy both stub their toe. Angela lets out a yelp and says “Ouch!” Kathy lets out a yelp… and a stream of expletives. Only one word is changed, but the effect is very different. We would all love to say we never judge, however, you would likely think of these two girls in two very different ways. What about two friends Eric and Danny? Eric uses positive language about everything in life, but Danny never ceases to discuss the negative. Do you think of them the same? Not likely. One last bit of convincing evidence: Think of the last time you were on the phone with someone you had never met before. Try to remember how they spoke. Did you create an idea of what they might look like based purely on that? The language we use and how we use it creates an image of who we are, for better or for worse. Whether we speak in a way that is loving or hateful, respectful or rude, positive or negative, we show who we are and what we care about.

People make certain assumptions about someone according to how they talk. For instance, one who uses words that are not commonly known are quickly labeled as smart (maybe even nerdy or self-righteous); on the other hand, someone who uses language with a lot of slang and poor grammar is likely to be seen as someone less educated (maybe even lazy or stupid).

If this quote is true, perhaps it can be said that it is critical that we watch what language we choose to use and how we choose to use it.

Challenge: Before you speak, think about what image you wish to portray. Does your language support that image? If not, maybe you ought to either revise what you wish to say or perhaps it would be best to not speak at all.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Seeing myself through someone else's eyes

I've found few things are more surprising than a different perspective.
I know a girl, while she will remain unnamed, I'm sure one or two of you will know who she is. I was always was so jealous of her as I grew up. Although she was dear to me, she always seemed better. And if I did better than her on anything, it seemed a fluke, or possible my ONE redeeming talent. Sometimes. She always seemed the prettier one, the nicer one, the more righteous one, the more talented one, the better one. Even another friend would say things like, oh, well we will never be as pretty/talented/good/etc as "____". A second opinion confirmed a thought, right?
It was not until years into our friendship that I discovered her thoughts. She sometimes thought she was plain next to me.
But how is that possible?
I was the one who was below her, wasn't I? I wasn't as pretty or talented, what did she have to be jealous of? I was very confused, and I was shocked. How could she have these thought when she was obviously the better one?
Like I said, few things are more surprising than a different perspective.
Too many of us spend our time comparing ourselves to others. We degrade ourselves believing to be less than another person, and all the while, they may be doing the same.
If we both believe the other to be better, who is right?
I don't think it's a matter of better or worse, everyone is different. It's been a while since I worried too much about what others think about me in most cases. Yes, there are definitely areas where I compare and I feel self-conscious, but overall, I have learned that comparing yourself to others is a pointless endeavor that results in nothing but false perception. Either you think you are higher than someone or beneath them, you rarely see yourself, or the other person accurately. Not only are you judging yourself, but you also are proclaiming yourself worthy to judge others. Is that right?
I think that we all need to take a minute and look at ourselves and who we are comparing ourselves against. It is just a crutch that we can hide behind instead of looking at ourselves and becoming better. It hinders our relationships with those we compare ourselves to, and it hinders our relationships with others in general because of our incorrect self-perception. Is it worth it?
I don't think so.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New apartment, new life...

Back from Washington meant two things.
a. Job Hunt
1. Pain
2. Misery
3. Potential Death
b. New Apartment
1. Unknown.
Not sure which was scarier.
Well, now I'm all settled at Raintree, and I've made a few friends... I'm definitely not in Heritage anymore. I am hoping that most of you caught the Wizard of Oz reference there. It's very different, and I'm definitely still adjusting.
My job hunt was fruitful. I am now working at Tophams Tiny Tots in Orem. It is basically a nursing home for mentally and physically handicapped children and young adults. I have the PM shift, so I help with PM goals, activities, dining, and bathing/bedtime. It's a lot of hard work, and some days are better than others, but I just started, so I think it will get a little easier as I get more used to it.
I really don't do much with my life right now other than work, sleep, eat, and go hot tubbing and swimming. Hopefully this will change soon, but until then, life is good, I guess. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My life as it is now...

So I realize it's been eleven months since I've posted, and ten months since I came to college, but I do regularly update things on Facebook, that should count for something right? Well, I'll give a really quick update about the past few months, but I figure I'll post more about what's going on right now.
So, I've been at BYU since June 2009. Since then, I've gone Summer term, Fall semester, and I'm now on the last week of Winter semester. I was accepted into my major--Communications with a Public Relations emphasis--this past February.
Now I know that a couple of you have been wondering about Brian, the guy in my profile picture on Facebook. We've been dating for just less than a month, he's from South Jordan, and he's a Physics major with an emphasis on Astronomy. Also, a total nerd. Now before any of you get any crazy ideas in your head, he is nineteen; therefore, he still needs to go on a mission.
So, I'm in the middle of finals week right now. I've taken my Living Prophets final, my Market Management final, and my World Civ. through 1500 final. I still have Book of Mormon 2 and Econ 110. Those are for Monday, then I am going to pack it up, spend my last couple of days with my roommate Brianna, her boyfriend, Lyndon, and Brian. On Thursday I am headed to Washington with Brianna, which I am SO excited for. Her parents will be out of town for a week, and I'm playing chauffeur, she's legally blind, so she doesn't have her license. So we get to hang out, and I'll drive her siblings to school.
After that, I'll be moving into my new apartment off campus. I'm taking a break from classes until Fall, which is when I get to have SO much fun with my PR classes.
Anyway, I don't have much more to say, so I'll post a few pictures.
Me and My roommate Tessa

Nick, Corrine, Sarah (My RA), Jenna, Brian, Daniel, Cameron, Me

Ben, Jeremy, Jasmin, Me, Joseph, some girl I don't know, Lyndon
Brian and me at a Ward Activity
Robert and I at Jump On It with friends

Brianna *the girl I am going to Washington with* and me
Me with my friend Ben Issa at Divine Comedy
Summer roommates: Standing: Lesley, Ashley, Mackenzie, Me Sitting/Laying: Sydni, Shelby
Last day in Summer Me, Ashley, Lesley, Mackenzie, Sydni

Summer FHE group. Back starting with the guy whose arms are weird, Jeff, James, Chad, Devin (hiding behind Alex), Alex Middle: Lesley, Shelby, Ashley, Mackenzie Front: Sydni, Me

Summer roomies being spies with a ransom note: Shelby, Lesley, Me, Ashley, Mackenzie, Sydni

I'll post more pictures and maybe a few fun stories later. :)