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December 12, 2014

And Let it Begin with Me

Image: Flickr/Chris Zerbes

Image: Flickr/Chris Zerbes

“He that would live in peace and at ease, must not speak all he knows nor judge all he sees.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Everyone could use a little more peace this year, but most of us want it to start with someone else, somewhere “out there” — few of us are willing to say, “Let it begin with me.” For example, many of us find ourselves in situations where we must instruct or correct. We’re parents, teachers, managers; it’s our job! But if all people hear from us is instruction or correction, they’re going to start tuning us out.

What if I don’t have to say everything I think? What if, instead of issuing warnings, instead of nagging, instead of jumping into the fray, I just allow people — my kids, my students, my employees — to learn from experience (the greatest teacher of all)?

Before you speak about or judge something, take a moment to pause and ask yourself one question: “Is what I’m about to say really helpful, or is it something that will just make me feel better?” Perhaps by keeping your peace, you can be a bringer of peace to those around you.

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