After I taught Sunday School this past Lord’s Day, I visited the men’s room. As I washed my hands, I decided to read a small piece of art that was hanging on the wall. I’d probably seen it many times before, but I paused for the first time to actually read the words. It looks like this:
Just in case you can’t read it, here are the words:
- Keep skid chains on your tongue. Say less than you think. Cultivate a smoothing voice. How you say it often means more than what you say.
- Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully, no matter what the cost.
- Never lose an opportunity to say a kind word to or about somebody. Praise work well done, regardless of
who did it.
- Be interested in others, their pursuits, their homes and their families. Let everyone you meet, however humble, feel your regard him as important.
- Be cheerful. Keep the corners of your mouth turned up. Hide your worries and disappointments under a smile.
- Keep an open mind on all debatable questions. Discuss, but don’t argue. It is a mark of a superior mind to disagree and remain friendly.
- Let your virtues speak for themselves and refuse to discuss the shortcomings of others. Discourage gossip by changing the subject.
- Have respect for the feelings of others. Wit and humor at the expense of a friend is never worth it.
- Pay no attention to destructive remarks and personal attacks on you. Live so that no one will believe them. Remember, a common cause of backbiting is a dissatisfaction with oneself.
- Don’t be concerned about your “just due.” Do a good turn for the sake of being helpful.
The placard is entitled Getting Along With People (Springbrook Publications, Inc., 1993).
What do you think? Will following the counsel above lead to healthy relationships? I think so. I wouldn’t say that I am convinced that smiling while suffering is laudable (#5), but the other points are well-made. I can’t help but think about how much more of a blessing I could have been had I followed the advice above!
Which of the above points hits you between the eyes today?
For me, it is the #8. Too many times in my life I have hurt others with my humor. It’s only been in recent years that I can honestly say I am learning how to apply #1 (“Say less than you think”). Believe me when I say that I was not reared in such a home where words were weighed before they were spoken! Friends in my past also often did not help, laughing at some comments or jokes when a gentle reprimand would have proven more beneficial. But maturity is a beautiful thing! One of my hopes is that my children will mature much faster than I did!
And that’s why I write this blog!
But thanks for stopping by! May this day and this week find us “getting along with people”!