Posts Tagged behavior

Never Criticize;  Always Encourage

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Workman, said to me, “You are a polite young man.” One of our children’s directors at Northside Baptist Church said to me, “I am surprised at your behavior. I expected better from you.” Two very different statements about my behavior at about the same time. It is a vivid example of our ability to make choices about what side of ourselves we choose to share. We are in control of us.

Each of us has the power within for good or evil. We can choose to be truthful or to lie. We can choose to be kind or unkind. We can choose to be polite or rude. We can choose to build other people up or tear them down. Our words reveal what is in our hearts.

The temptation is to blame others when we show our more unattractive side. “The devil made me do it,” is an easy out. I was being attacked or I had to defend myself are often cited as reasons. for revealing our darker sides. In today’s toxic climate it is easy to fall into the victim role or to lash out. It takes determination to stay the course. That does not mean that we will get it right every time. There are no pills to take that will insure lifelong success. We can only try each time the opportunity to show our better side presents itself. The more we succeed increases our chances of success next time.

We are all works in progress. We are under construction. Finding the right words never becomes easy; however, it does become easier with practice. Words are powerful instruments for good or evil. “Loose lips sink ships.” “I no longer call you servants, but friends.” “We the people.” “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” “Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.” “You lie.” Once spoken words can never be recalled. They are out there forever.

Words are powerful. Use them wisely. We all have choices whether to be instruments of harmony or whether to be instruments of discord. Most of the people I know are desperately in need of words of encouragement. There is already enough negativity out there.  We are constantly being drowned in a sea of poison language. Resist the urge to strike back. Let it go. If possible, offer a positive word. Remember, “People may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.”

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Fifty-Two Keys for Living, Loving and Working


Every person deserves our respect.  We are not required to like everyone, agree with his or her position nor approve of his or her behavior. We are required to respect a fellow human being because all of us are confronted by the struggles of life. Each person is a work of art an original. There are no duplicates. When my dear friend Tita died, Charlie, her husband, told me when he was about to remarry, “I knew that there was not another Tita out there; so, I never looked for one.” He found happiness with another unique individual. How different our world would be if we learned to respect one another and appreciate his or her uniqueness. There is so much that we can learn from others and they can learn from us. Respect is the key that will open the door.

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We Teach Children That Incivility Is Rewarded

Mitch Carnell
Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 12:00 am

We Teach Children That Incivility is Rewarded | Mitch Carnell, Bullying, Incivility, Abuse, Behavior

Our airwaves are filled with innuendo and disrespect. Recall Rush Limbaugh’s rant about the young female law student …. Bill Maher is … just as disgusting, Carnell says. (Photo credits: Nicolas Shayko, left, Angela George)

Our country and much of the world has expressed shock and horror at the verbal and physical treatment meted out to a 68-year-old grandmother and bus monitor in Greece, New York.

Karen Klein tried to maintain her composure while her tormentors continued their assault.

Many adults have reacted by sending her money as if a few dollars can erase the hurt that these foul-mouthed children inflicted. Their parents have expressed surprise.

We are not surprised. It is the behavior we encourage and reward.

Remember Congressman Joe Wilson whose single claim to fame is that he called the president of the United States a liar during his State of the Union address?

Most listeners had never heard of Wilson before that incident, but they rewarded him with thousands of dollars for his re-election campaign. He was re-elected.

His party made excuses for him. He was offered speaking engagements across the country simply because he had shown extraordinary poor judgment and incivility.

Our airwaves are filled with innuendo and disrespect. Recall Rush Limbaugh’s rant about the young female law student, Sandra Fluke, who testified before a congressional committee.

Glenn Beck fills the airwaves and his personal appearances with half-truths and derogatory language. His audiences encourage him to be even more derogatory. He rakes in millions of dollars as his hate caravan rolls across the country.

Bill Maher is more vulgar than liberal, but he is just as disgusting.

During my years as a practicing speech language pathologist, a child whose speech was barely understandable would color the air purple with his limited vocabulary.

The parent would look at me and mumble, “I don’t know where he heard that kind of language.”

Maybe the parent didn’t know, but I knew. Speech is learned. Behavior is caused.

Two North Carolina pastors have waded into the language swamp. One wants to put all the gays and lesbians in an outdoor pen and watch them die.

The other is urging the parents of young boys to break their sons’ wrists if they show any signs of being effeminate.

There is one glimmer of hope. The Wisconsin Council of Churches has called for A Season of Civility.

They reason that the recent recall election has so polarized the state that desperate measures are required.

Thirty-five members of the clergy representing different religious groups have asked their fellow clergy to join them in preaching and teaching about civility.

The incident on the bus in New York has amply demonstrated that Wisconsin is not alone in its need to rekindle an atmosphere of civility. Churches cannot do the job alone. They require our help.

Parents can monitor the TV programs and websites their children frequent. All electronic devices have off switches. They can complain to advertisers and refuse to purchase the advertisers’ products.

Schools can teach respect for authority and common decency. They can require compliance at least during school hours. These activities can and will have some effect.

Absolutely nothing will be as effective as grown-ups modeling the behavior we want. Seeing adults who are consistent in their respectful treatment of others will plant the message in a way nothing else can.

Resolve to see the best in everybody and everything and to reflect that in your speech.

Realize that you will be ridiculed for such behavior, but be firm in your resolve.

We are all responsible for the atmosphere around us. This is a problem that no amount of money can solve. The only solution that stands a chance is personal resolve and involvement.

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You Are Always on Stage

I have been wearing my Say Something Nice button and discovered that it is a magnet. People stop me to ask about it. Carol and I went on a Caribbean cruise and I started wearing the button. Fairly quickly news of it spread over the ship. I did not take a large number with me, but now with the help of some fellow passengers and very responsive crew members it has spread around the world.

            The last couple of Mondays I have worn it to my lunch at the S&S Cafeteria with my minister friends. Customers and staff are intrigued by it and want to know more about the buttons. Yesterday the supply I had with me quickly disappeared. I have learned a great lesson from this simple exercise.

            Our actions do count. People are paying attention. This simple message is spreading. Whether you are wearing a button or not, you are spreading a message. As one of the articles I often give out states, “You Are always on Stage.”

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