Wednesday, November 18, 2015

If You Can't Say Anything Nice

Grandmothers from the beginning of time have been quoted "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." It's my impression that if the world took the adage literally, the Internet - especially social media - would be devoid of content this past week. Emotions are running high and the dialog is in large part not nice. The thing is, I don't think we need to take the adage so literally.

Being nice doesn't mean we all have to agree. Being nice doesn't mean we can't say what we think. We can disagree and still be nice. We can have a debate and still be nice. It's a lot harder ..... but it's possible.

Being nice can simply mean choosing words that convey our thoughts without name calling or assigning negative attributes to another's conduct or thoughts. When we add the negativity, the issues become secondary, because now everyone is focused on defending egos.

In short, I may not agree with you. You may not agree with me. I'm going to try hard not to think less of you for not agreeing with me (ego, remember?) but I'm also going to try very hard to make sure my words express my opinion of the issue not my opinion of you. If I stand a chance of having you seeing things my way (and I may not) I need to stick to selling my opinion of this issue.

Cause in the grand scheme of things, any of us could be wrong. Or may be there is no right or wrong. But we'll never get to either realization if we continue to stomp on each other.

As we move into the Thanksgiving holiday see if you can say it nicely. Whether it's about Syrian refugees, political candidates, or Aunt Esther's new hairstyle - say it nicely.

Keep smiling and keep moving
and remember to THINK before you post

T - is it true?
H - is it helpful?
I - is it inspiring?
N- is it necessary?
K - is it kind?

-Paula



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