“If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
This is one of the many lessons that Disney movies taught me; however, this quote has stuck with me through the stages of growing up. This may have a lot to do with the fact that my mom quoted it during my childhood too many times to count, but I am glad that I decided that this quote in particular was worth keeping in my memory bank.
While the trends of clothing are constantly changing, so are our society’s ideals of respect and what is right or wrong. Just like it used to be cool to wear brightly colored windbreakers (90’s kids, you know what I’m talking about), it also used to be cool to treat others how you wanted to be treated. Even though brightly colored windbreakers have most definitely gone out of style, kindness has not. It is important that we are always aware of how our words can affect other people. I would never want to be known as the person who made someone else feel inferior, intimidated, or hated and I surely would never want someone else to make me feel that way.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a sarcastic comment as much as the next person does, but when we start hurting others with our words, it then becomes a problem. I don’t know when our generation began to think that being rude or snarky to other people was as cool as wearing flash tats- but it’s not. Unfortunately, I think that with the progression of society we have lost sight of the fact that it is still important to respect each other.
Just think about it- you don’t want to be that person that they say is rude, disrespectful, and just plain mean. You want people to remember you for the things you did to make them feel welcome, comfortable, and most of all, wanted. You want these people to want to be around you after they’ve left because they enjoyed your presence that much. Remember, anything you say to others can only be forgiven or forgotten. We all know how hard forgiveness is to receive and how hard it is to give so dodge that situation completely and just be nice.
Other people do not owe you something in exchange for your kindness. Kindness is something that should be offered, free of charge and endlessly. In a world full of chaos and confusion, there is nothing better than meeting someone with a genuinely good heart.
While Thumper’s quote may seem like a flashback to your childhood, it still remains very true. Next time you open your mouth, keep in mind the impact your words can have. Make it a good impact. Use your words to change the world, not hurt it.