The Thumper Rule

I was always told, Remember the Thumper Rule! “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all!”  (Sorry about the double negative, I’m quoting.) These days, kindness seems to be passed off as old fashioned, passé, and not very popular. (Are you listening, Trump?) “You won’t get very far in this world on kindness.” (Yeah, right! I say sarcastically.) Kindness is the true measure of decent, mature person. The true sign of maturity (in my book) is knowing when to shut up. Knowing what “not” to say.

The rehab home where I’m staying admitted a new patient. She’s uber onery. (She is more onery than a multitasking mom with a migraine!) She’s driving the staff mad. (Referring to it both ways. Mad “grrrrr” and mad crazy.) This lady is verbally abusive to the max, and they all dread going in to help her. They’ve thanked me for being incredibly kind and understanding. I always say “Thank you,” and try to make their jobs easier. (Like day and night.)

Really? Do we need to force other’s lives as to be as miserable as (we think) our own is? I’ll bet if she attempted interaction with people the opposite way and made a concerted effort to be kind. She would be happier, and it would additionally brighten the other person’s day. Let’s at least start with civil and work up from there. (Here I go being all positive again. It must be my thing!)

My thoughts rush back to high school. (Fade to backstory with weird music.) I was attending to perform in an evening choir concert. All the choir members were required to wear our finest. One girl, who was low in the self esteem department, was looking exceptionally nice. I felt compelled to compliment her. So I did ecstatically. Her countenance changed from shy and uncertain to a big smile and looking rather proud of herself. I noticed her. I swear there were beams of light shooting from her body! (Seriously beaming!) All it took was a few kind words. (I bet I made her year! If I do say so myself.) I felt great, and I am certain she did, too. (Like I say, win win.) It left me with such an impact, I remember that experience from over thirty years ago!

(Return to the present.) My tween girls are always bickering and placing blame. (Yeah, you guys!) Oh, how much calmer, pleasant, and quiet our home would be without the incessant arguing! (Serenity now!) I need to constantly place a picture of Bambi’s Thumper in their faces (or tattoo it to their corneas) to remind them about the urgent and necessary need for kindness. (Sometimes it’s a relief to go back to the rehab home! I didn’t say that.) They need to forget their pride and me, me, me attitudes and think of the other. Remember: Kindness begins with me!” We seem to be the worst with our siblings. (I’m sure there’s some psychological reason.) That’s too bad, because your brothers and sisters do become your best friends. (True story.)

Let’s play Truth (and) or Dare. 

Truth? Tell me how an act of kindness changed your day. 

Dare? Go perform an intentional (way out of your way) act of kindness for anyone, and see how you feel. Tell me about it. (I really want to hear about it!)

Next time you have a choice, choose kindness. See how that works out for you! (I dare ya!)

Swinging and Freedom

I attempt to avoid the news. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. (I only watch for the weather.) So many people say America is going down the toilet. (Insert flushing sound.) It makes me recall something my parents taught me in my youth, “You can swing your arms as much as you want, until you hit someone.” Meaning, you are free to act in a way that makes you happy and safe, in your own sphere, until you impede on someone else’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I call it the “Rule of Swinging.” (Yes mom, I listened!)

Our founding fathers understood the concept when they drafted and enacted the Bill of Rights and Constitution 223 years ago. In example, you can say or write what you please until you damage someone with slander or libel. (I won’t even begin with those who are easily offended!) Or, you have the right to shoot a gun, but when it’s used to threaten or the bullet hits someone, you have (literally) ruined their happiness. I suppose you can say freedom ends at the tip of another’s nose.

This is the reason why we have laws, to protect ours and other’s lives and safety, thus equaling our happiness. (In example, speed limits and seat belt laws.) I can’t help thinking, if each person was reared and taught properly, with high morals and respect for their fellow men, and followed the “Rule of Swinging”, we wouldn’t even need laws. I must include the inherent problem of selfishness, greed, or as Chaucer put it, avarice (love of money.) Eradicate these, and many of our country’s daunting problems would be non-existent. (Including healthcare legislation.) In my opinion, our elected leaders must rise above the petty bickering and childish side-taking and remember to strongly embrace democracy and the Constitution, and all they represent, for the good of the people. It was shaped and molded with God’s help, because it holds true to key values and inalienable rights of each and every human. If we spend our time and resources worrying about ourselves and stay out of other’s business, that would help, too. (I’m not refering to countries in need. I’m speaking on a more personal level.)

The bottom line of my rant comes down to the urgent need for unending kindness and love. (That’s the problem I have with Trump. He might get things done, but with incessant unkindness and whining.) How do we teach kindness? How will we improve our current situation? What can little me do?

We cannot sit idly by. I believe the moral-based teaching of future generations is an integral part of the solution. My future grandson could be President of the United States! (You just never know!) What we do and say is so important. The other part of any success of the nation includes respect and unselfishness. (I know it’s not that simple. So many variables come into play.) We must be the good example.

As I quoted a song, in an essay about America that I wrote about 30 years ago, “Perfect or not, it’s the best thing this world’s got!” I personally think we would thrive as a country if we were just more kind! (Our nation, according to Kim!)