Civility and manners,  Communication,  Kindness quotes

The words we wear

“Words are the clothing of our thoughts.” ~Jonathan Swift

“Watch what you say!” my mother used to scold. Like most kids, I wasn’t born knowing how to filter insensitive remarks. Children are notorious for expressing brutally frank opinions on everything they notice, from bad breath to obesity. It’s our responsibility as adults to teach our kids social skills — including civility and diplomacy.

There’s a delicate line between “candid” and “tactless,” after all. These days, too many grown-ups think it’s fine to blurt whatever comes to mind. Watch any political debate, and you’ll probably agree that most candidates have perfected the dubious art of the blatant insult.

If words are the “clothing of our thoughts,” as today’s quote suggests, it follows that boasting, name-calling, and mean-spirited criticizing all reflect the style and character of the speaker. So why not share a compliment and spare the insult? Kind words not only lift the hearts of others; they also elevate the reputation of those who speak them. ~CL

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Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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