Wednesday, December 28, 2011

resolution for the new year: speaking kindly of others

i'm reading this book (the jury's still out on whether i like it or not. it has its moments of clarity.), and it is peppered with relevant quotes from famous people. here is one that jumped out at me the other day. it comes from a chapter called "the lady makes friends":
good ol' jean paul
"a [woman] never discloses [her] character so clearly as when [she] describes another's."
                                                                        jean paul richter
yeah, i need to work on that. it is so easy to talk negatively about people when you don't know their whole life. i can easily say, yeah, she seems really stuck up, when i've never talked to her. and when i talk about others, people who haven't wronged me in any real way, what is that saying about me? essentially it's saying that i am all of the things i accuse other people of being. and i don't want to be that person. 

i know that when i hear other people talking derogatorily about another's clothes/hair/behavior/taste in fill-in-the-blank, i wonder what they are saying about me when i am not there. and i am guilty of saying things that are not so nice some of the time.

so, i am resolving to be a better friend, starting with not talking about people behind their backs/in a negative manner. i want to be a lady, and ladies do not tarnish the character of others. and, even more basically then that, i want to be a good person, and good people say nice things about other people. 

i finally tracked down this quote i have been looking for forever from president henry b. eyring. he said, quoting a wise district president, that, "when you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.” i need to take that to heart and think and speak better of others, and what a perfect time to start.

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