My mom has some good sayings. One of the most memorable is a set of two short questions:
Is it true? Is it kind?
She would pose this to me and my brother, usually after one of us had just said something nasty to the other. (Keep in mind that “questions” from a mom are generally statements). We would almost always answer with an exasperated “uh yesss mom” to the first, but then to the second we’d fumble around, trying to conjure up how the nasty statement was actually kind. We couldn’t of course, and her point was made: Keep our mouths shut if it didn’t pass both tests.
I’m going back to the basics for some of my 2013 goals and these two questions are in the lineup.
In 2009 I had a breakthrough year, led by the banner goal of “honesty in ’09”. I hadn’t been lying but needed help being more direct and forthright. I had great success, but in the process have lost some of my kindness.
Being direct is good, but being direct and kind is great. Thus I’m re learning the “is it kind” portion for 2013 and I encourage you to consider that as well.