This is Day 26 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. To get caught up from Day 1, click here.
During this challenge, I have attempted to say more with less words. Staying close to the 100 word mark was much more challenging than I imagined. I let this one go on well past the 200 word mark because it’s that important to our happiness and the happiness of others.
I found myself nodding in agreement, affirming that the person in question had seriously erred in their ways. The individual being discussed was clearly a flawed specimen of humanity. Before the conversation was over, together we had identified wrongful actions in two other people.
I left the booth where I had been working and headed to my car. Two seconds into my drive home, I realized I had just spoken negatively about three people. I know better than that. It’s not my style. I’m a positive person. I see the best in others, yet I had heartily chimed in as others were being berated. What could I do to make it right? Flashback to what I did with my students years ago.
“If you say something negative about another person, you have to say 10 good things about them.”
As I began to try to think of ten good things about these three, I realized I didn’t even know them well enough to name ten things about them. If I didn’t know them any better than that, why speak negatively about them? I had no where near enough information to make a judgement on their actions.
We have no idea what is behind someone’s actions. We judge only from what we can see on the surface, and from our perspective based on our own past experiences.
Looking for the good in others is a mental exercise that can only produce positive results.
The next time you find yourself speaking negatively about someone, stop, and say ten good things about them. Maybe someone will do the same thing for you!