When I was a little boy, my mother used to read me and my sister
stories from a big illustrated book of the Brothers Grimm. One of the
stories (and illustrations) I recall vividly involved a story of two
sisters. The younger sister was extremely kind. Her kindness was
surpassed only by her physical beauty. Her elder sister was equally
pretty, but extremely jealous, which she voiced in harsh words and
vicious comments. One day, while their parents were away, the two
sisters were home alone when an old woman with a sack of clothes came by the house in desperate need of water. The elder sister uttered nasty words refusing to help her. Upon hearing this, the younger sister ran to her aid and attended to all her needs. When fully rested, the elderly traveler said to the young women, I have gifts for you both. To the kind sister, she said, “Whenever you speak words of kindness, diamond, pearls and gems shall fall from your lips. Your kindness shall never be forgotten.” As the pretty young woman offered words of thanks, two precious diamonds and a sparkling ruby fell from her mouth into her hands. Upon seeing this, the elder sister demanded to know what the old woman would give her. “Every time you speak ugly words, snakes and frogs shall crawl out of your mouth.” The elder sister yelled, “Get out you old, miserable hag.” As she uttered these words, just as the traveled had foretold, two snakes slithered out of her mouth and
dropped to the floor, rapping themselves around her ankles. In case you missed the moral to this story, let me state the obvious: Choose your words wisely. It is easy to speak kind words when you are feeling happy. It is far more difficult to be diplomatic in times of stress, which is all the more reason to do so, if for no other reason, so there is less mess to clean up afterward. As my mother used to say, “I wish you many diamonds today and every day.”
Quote for the Day: “Is it true, is it necessary, is it kind? These are three questions to ask yourself before you speak.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Photo for the Day: Today’s photo is an image I took last year while filming Earth Songs up in
Teton National Park. The Tetons are the crown jewel of the National Park system. Diamonds of a different kind. Enjoy.
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.