In @patrickrhone’s new book For You (paperback/epub), he puts forward the argument that you and I have so much more agency than we are willing to let on. When put in plain English, we are confronted with descriptive statements about our nature. He does not look down upon us and say “you should” and “you ought to.” He merely describes what we are all capable of being as humans coexisting with each other. If we disagree with his assessments of us, we are only allowed the option of responding, “No, I can’t.” The book is full of wisdom packaged in a way that elicits these interactions. Patrick does not prescribe one particular way of approaching life; instead, he invites us to see what choices we can make in the moment life asks us to make one.

One of my favorite passages is from You Can Be Honest:

You can always say what you mean and mean what you say. You can be someone who only makes promises they can keep and keeps every one they make.

You can be the one who people trust because you’ve never given anyone a reason not to. You can be the one who does what they say they’re going to do.

You can be the one who only says what they know, who is clear when not certain, and is even more clear when you don’t know.

I am sharing this to remind myself of how I need to approach my relationships and friendships, especially in my career as a teacher. I need to remember the power my words can have when working with young students. Their memories are unpredictable, and one joke or blurted comment can bring great joy or great suffering. Pausing and choosing my words before I say them in order to provide an honest response has always been proven to me as the right action to take.

There is an ʻŌlelo Noʻeau, a Hawaiian proverb, that states:

I ka ʻolelo no ke ola, i ka ʻolelo no ka make.

This translates to “in speech is life, in speech is death.”

Patrick’s specificity on how to bring about life with our speech is more needed than ever in an age of misinformation, creation without citation, and when the false confidence of appearing to be right carries no shame when proven wrong. When advice is packaged in the way he has written this book, it has great potential for positive internal change and for the ripple effect that has within a community. Mahalo Mr. Rhone for this beautiful collection of wisdom and for continuing to inspire.