“-ista” | a little addition that can be found sitting pretty at the end of certain words that holds an interesting power. Without going into its Latin roots, it has been known to step up the game. Taking a simple word and putting it on a pedestal, giving it a boost, and letting it fly high with inspiration.
The word Barista, for instance, has given coffee-shop employees a fancy flare, and their guests, an admiration and respect for their speedy yet elegant skills behind the counter. Baristas are more than just order takers and coffee makers. We are meant to see and appreciate the skills of the Barista – it’s a huge part of our coffee sipping (or gulping) experience! They top off our Venti with a chocolate covered coffee bean, a delicate sprinkle of cinnamon or an artful milky floral design making us want to sit back and admire before we indulge. I’d say “-ista” has made a pretty big difference at the coffee bar.
The word Fashionista, tends to put someone in an exciting position of influence that comes along with trust and confidence. A Fashonista is looked to by many, for the current and future trends, often leaving “nail-biting” trend-seekers waiting to see what will come next, or what is over and done, how you should do this and where you should buy that. I would even go as far as to consider some Fashionistas profound points of reference for many people on a daily basis. I mean, we pay people to figure out what clothes fit our body type and what to wear when, how and with what accessories – or what clothes our kids should wear (packaged neatly in a pretty box). We follow social media accounts that give us encouragement and inspiration on how to live “fashionably”: tips, techniques, tools of the trade, “this is in” and “that is out”, tuck it this way, tie it that way, don’t do a pattern, add some texture, and so on.
These trendsetters have the power to ignite head-to-toe and even heart & soul, confidence. Take out the title of Fashionista and we really all have this same power! We all have the ability and access to become a Fashionista in our own way. The glory of our interconnected and very digital world, is that you have this choice with the tap of the keys and the snap of a photo to choose who you want to be, what you want to represent, to share it all or cover it up, keep it a secret or scream it from the mountain tops! …And those little ones grabbing at your ankles and yanking on your earrings – they are the most influenced.
I could go on and on about Fashionistas because I think it’s safe to say that it is the most popular -ista word in existence. With a quick check, #fashionista has been used over 70 million times on Instagram! But the funny thing that too many people have forgotten is that there is a huge world on the outside. Remember? Beyond the keys, beyond the phone, and beyond the magazine. A world that needs some face to face time (not just FaceTime), a world that needs to be lived in not just LIVE, a world that needs human touch, a real voice, a world that needs honest friends and stronger families, a world that never seems to have enough time…a world where all we really need is more compassion. To listen, learn and love. Where did this go? A world where the first thing that should come out of our mouth is a genuine, “How are you?” and you really want to know.
Remember those little ones I mentioned? They need this the most! Their eyes and ears are taking it all in and learning how to live through you. You are their encouragement and inspiration. You are setting the trend in their eyes. I challenge you to get down to their level and check out the view. Scroll through all the examples – would you “follow” you?
Compassion isn’t something that can only be felt through words and emojis. Compassion needs to be experienced, first hand. So, after you give your kids their allotted “screen time”, give them a hug and give them some “you time” and make sure they squeeze in some “friend time” where they either strengthen relationships or meet someone new, help someone lonely and see from a different view… being mindful and curiously compassionate instead of watching from a distance with judgment. We can teach them compassion in a way that will not fade. Make a statement and make it the coolest thing outside of your newsfeed.
There is a power in words and depending on how a sentence is woven together, you can either easily offend or thoughtfully encourage, make a grand and agreeable point or fail to reach your audience, come off as bragging or attract with subtle selflessness. This is something we need to teach our children. Teach them how to communicate in genuine and relatable ways, with words that will flow freely and string together so effortlessly, unknowingly setting a trend of kindness. Teach them compassion in a way that we never knew it. Because, let’s face it – we are in the midst of an easily influenced generation, where feelings and minds can change by the quick click of the “refresh” button and an ever-evolving acumen of shortened words, acronyms, and (oh yeah), hashtags #amiright? Equip them to pave their own path and lead the way to good. Help them as they make a mark in a world that desperately needs a little more guidance, discretion, and a lot more compassion.
I know it may not be the “cool” thing. It might not be the hottest look on the runway or the latest trend. It should never be a fad, because it needs to be at the forefront and on the front page, always.
Compassion, that is.
“-ista” | may be minimal in the English language, but it isn’t a suffix to be ignored. In a world filled with Fashionistas, let’s raise some Compassionistas.
Take some time to encourage compassion and practice acts of kindness with your children! We’d love to hear from you – with the hashtag #compassionista share your stories and let’s see if we can surpass 70 million, setting a new trend that’s well overdue.