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One of my mom’s favorite sayings, and it didn’t matter if she was talking to a five year-old or a twenty-five year old, was “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

Yes, she knew she was quoting Disney and she knew we knew.  Bring it up and she’d just give you that stare.

You probably think that Mom came to mind because it’s Mother’s Day weekend.  That’s probably part of it. But part of it was also reading Lori’s post. Even if she didn’t agree with what any and all of these people had done, Mom would have chosen a different path. Confrontation just wasn’t her thing.

When the mom up the street didn’t feed her kids well or keep them clean, Mom didn’t argue or lecture.  She invited the kids down for lunch and she put their coats in the wash. She even put then in the tub a time or two because “we had played outside for too long and they were obviously chilled.”

I never heard her tell another mom off because their child behaved badly, but woe to me if I repeated that behavior in front of that parent.  “We do not behave like that. What would people think?”

Arguments online? That wasn’t an issue way back then, but knowing Mom it still wouldn’t be today. Mom might have gone on Facebook to catch up with an old friend or exchange a recipe. She definitely would have participated in sewing forum’s and shared patterns and tips. But argue? Not Mom.

When they asked Mom to teach Sunday school, they probably thought she’d go for the cute, little kids.  Mom asked for the high schoolers. I was too young to be in her class but I heard about it. They discussed everything using the lesson as a jumping off point for life, the world and everything. The opinions stated by her students weren’t always the common wisdom.  They challenged each other.  They asked her “why do we believe this and not that?” She gave what they asked thought before she answered, especially when she didn’t agree.

And week after week, they came back.

If they didn’t have something nice to say based on someone else’s belief, they could speak their mind but they didn’t name call, they didn’t argue.  It wasn’t about the other person, it was about their own belief, idea or opinion. They could disagree, but they had to be civil.  Otherwise, what would people think?

Wishing you all a Blessed weekend filled with inspiration and memories of the mom’s, grandmothers, Sunday school teachers and others who shaped us into the people we are today!

–SueBE

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