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The Best Epitaph

I've recently made a new blog friend, Louise. Her blog, Recover Your Joy is full of amazing insight and warmth... you definitely need to stop by and visit there! In response to my New Year's Day post, she wrote the following post this week...Let Me Be Kind. It's a must read! In it she said...
"Years ago a friend asked me, If there were one word on your headstone that completed this sentence, 'She was a........ woman', what would you want it to be? Kind, I replied. Definitely kind."

That really got me thinking. What better way to have people remember you! I would like to say that I am a kind, caring person, I think I am. But is that the first thing that would come to mind if my family and friends were asked about me? Probably not!

My demeanor can be gruff and impatient. If I am distracted, as I often am, I can appear aloof and disinterested, even though I'm really not. If I am feeling overwhelmed by all that I need to accomplish, which I often do, I can be downright bitchy. Shocking, I know! ;-) I do better with my actions which are more thought out, but too often the things that come out of my mouth are judgemental and unkind.

The following words by Sri Sathya Sai Baba have been committed to my memory for years...

“Before you speak, think - Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind?
Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?”


But I fail to follow his advice. Reading Louise's post on kindness convicted me mightily. We talked about it at work yesterday, in relation to a coworker who tends to drive us all nuts because she seems to thrive on causing friction between us. When I say something snide about her in response to her actions, does that not bring me down to her level and feed the fire? When my sisters use me as their sounding board for resentments held between them and I participate in the conversation, does that really do anything to improve the situation, or my own spiritual well being? Of course not!

From now on, I'm going to make an added effort to do this very simple thing... think before I speak! It isn't that hard to put a filter in place to sift thru and delete words that are unkind before they escape from my mouth. I know I won't always succeed, but I know I can do better, and maybe set a better example too. I really would like people to remember me one day as a kind person.

What would you like the epitaph on your headstone to say?

8 comments:

  1. I can think of no better word. My mother also always told me over and over again... "think before you speak"... once the words are out...it will be too late to take them back... which I TRY to dutifully obey, but more often than not...fail... I like this post...it's one that everyone can learn from.

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  2. she is delightful indeed.

    lovely post.

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  3. Thank you JYankee! Thinking before you speak sounds much easier than it is, especially for those of us who talk too much! But I'm definitely going to make the effort. I don't wanna be known as one of those "grumpy old ladies"! :-)

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  4. Ooh, I like that epitaph, Jingle! Delightful people are fun to know and be around! Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. I'd like to be remembered as being kind. My mother's should read, It's Nice to be Nice. She's always said that.

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  6. Me too Cheryl, it's a pretty great compliment for people to see you as kind. My supervisor has one of the kindest hearts. Sadly, people try to take advantage of that. It is nice to be nice, and it's nice to know people who are nice! :-)

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  7. Wow Josie -- thank you for this. What a lovely gift to read how my words inspired you this morning. it's cold (arctic kind of cold) here today. A cold front blew in with frigid air and blowing snow.

    It may be cold outside, but your kind words and actions have warmed my heart!

    Thanks. And I'm so delighted to have meet you too. I love visiting here.

    Hugs

    Louise

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  8. Powerful words, ones that I will take to heart.

    PS Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog - if you happen to know any churches that would like to hang prints like that feel free to send them my way ;).

    -----------------------------------
    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)