The words in the quote above are pretty well-known for many of us who are older in nature (in other words just old). They are words that many of us heard from our parents, our teachers, those who had influence in our lives.
BUT unfortunately they are often credited to the wrong source. Many people attribute them to the author Margaret Atwood who put them to paper in her book ‘Lady Oracle’. However, there are many sources that would say she summarized them from the words of Alice Roosevelt Longworth who was the daughter of President Teddy Roosevelt and a long-time Washington socialite. She was often heard to say:
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit next to me. If you can’t say something good about someone, sit here by me.”
Now, either way these are definitely wise words or statement of wisdom when it comes to our interpersonal relationships. The reality is, I have found it much easier to spew unhealthy and judgemental words over the years than it is to find things to say that are uplifting and enriching. I think “IF” many of us are honest enough, we all can relate to the challenges of living life by the advice of either of these women! So often in life’s journey it is much easier to speak without thinking of the repercussions of our words. Jesus’ half-brother James, who came to believe the TRUTH concerning his brother after the resurrection had this to say about the challenges of our words:
The REALITY is, it is a difficult thing to keep our thoughts and attitudes from spewing forth in our words, but it is important for us to take our thoughts captive as we seek to live together as God desires. Which honestly, is exactly ‘WHY’ there hasn’t been a post from me over the past few days. The past week has been one of the most difficult weeks of this entire journey mostly because of a change in direction in treatment of the double concussion I suffered back in the late summer. The medication turned my stomach into a churning pit and anyone who has had that happen knows just how much it can influence our lives. Recent research has also shown that there is a direct connection between our ‘gut health’ and the functioning of our brains (when healthy not just when injured).
SO, I consciously chose to follow the wisdom of the words that are quoted here and refrain from writing. Today, life is returning to normal (normal for where I am at with this brain injury) slowly and I hope to be able to write more consistently in the upcoming days and weeks.
Until then I pray that you are not just surviving but thriving in the journey we are all on together!