"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?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!
Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?”
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?