“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

14 12 2011

How many times have we heard that admonishment?  Mom, teacher, scout leader, spouse have all reminded, hissed, whispered to us at one time or another.

I’d like to talk about the corollary to that old familiar piece of advice.  No, I am not going to rant about how beautiful and righteous and pure it is to tell the whole (often ugly and unnecessarily unkind) truth.  I am talking about “hearing something nice.”

Happy Holidays!  There, I said it.  I say it a lot, along with Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Peace, Take care of yourself, Be careful, I love you, You’re the best  .   .   .    I say these things because I have good feelings toward the intended hearer of the words.  That’s it.

There is no nefarious or disrespectful agenda in “Happy Holidays.”  “Merry Christmas” is not some holier-than-thou finger wagging behind a cheery smile and a friendly wave.  There are enough genuinely difficult and painful emotions in our lives, which are often amplified by celebratory seasonal events; we should not go hunting for reasons to feel put out!

Whenever someone wishes you a pleasant day, whether it is phrased in their religious heritage, the local vernacular, or even if they need the assistance of the Hallmark machinery, HEAR SOMETHING NICE!

BONUS:  If, by some slim chance, they don’t mean to be nice, you’ll have foiled their plot by taking them at their word, now won’t you?

I hope we will spend the rest of this holiday season expressing our good will and kindness to our friends and neighbors and any other folks who will play bit parts in our own personal holiday extravaganzas.  Peace on Earth starts with peace in our homes and in ourselves.

Say nice.  Hear nice.  Be nice.

Peace.

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4 responses

14 12 2011
linda billet

I’ll prob quote that a dozen times in the next two weeks.

21 12 2011
m

Stealing (with atribution) and gonna share this on Facebook. I am so sick of the Christmas War.

21 12 2011
Maggie

Hmmm, My reply entered without me ^^

21 12 2011
Maggie

And now the reply vanished. Oh, internet, you’re so silly. Anyway, Paula, I’m going to share this on Facebook and properly atribute it. I am very tired of the Christmas Wars.

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