Counting to Ten — Watching Our Words and Actions

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Everything we do in life — each action, spoken word, message, gesture, eye roll, sideways glance, or even thought, has the potential to do either great harm or great good for not only ourselves, but also for everyone around us.

Always true, it is amplified even more living in our modern social media world today, having the capability to influence the lives of people the world over.

So we need to be careful, take a moment to catch our breath, and reflect before speaking, acting or responding.  I was never aware that my Mother was quoting Thomas Jefferson when she frequently admonished “Count to ten” when I was upset or angry about something.

“When angry count ten before you speak. If very angry, one hundred.”

— Thomas Jefferson

It is especially important with young and sensitive children, whose self-images, attitudes and behaviors may be influenced, molded and shaped by our next words and actions.

Children who are always, always watching and listening — and learning by observing. It’s what they do.  It is a lot of responsibility, but no one ever said parenting or acting like a mature adult was going to be easy.

As the old carpenter saw goes — “measure twice, cut once.”   So we need to think twice, count to ten (or a hundred, or even one hundred, ninety-eight and three-quarters) and only then speak or act –  prudently, thoughtfully, compassionately.  Thereby serving as the very best influence and guide for children and everyone else in our lives.

Children learn from the examples we set, intended or not.  If we cannot control our own emotions and behaviors, how can we reasonably expect our children, or our neighbors, co-workers, employees, or anyone else to do so?

“… every single act we do has the potential of causing pain, and every single thing we do has consequences that echo way beyond what we can imagine. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act. It means we should act carefully. Everything matters.” ― Sylvia Boorstein

“Words are like toothpaste, Charlie.  Once out, there’s just no putting ’em back.  They can land with the gentleness of a feather or the force of a sledgehammer.  And the effects go out like ripples across a pond, for good or bad.” — Little Red Bear

Thanks always for dropping by, and we hope you enjoy your visits here.  Please act gently and kindly with not only fragile young minds and spirits, but with everyone; and be the reason someone smiles today! — Jim  (and Red!)


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 Peace  —  Compassion  —  Kindness  —  Love


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4 thoughts on “Counting to Ten — Watching Our Words and Actions

  1. Thanks for stopping in for a visit, Jessica! It is hard to pause sometimes, and like you say, that moment to catch our breath can make a big difference. Best wishes for a wonderful week! 🙂

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  2. Little Bear is so very mindful! (What a wonderful toothpaste analogy) And I remember my Nan saying “measure twice, cut once.” only it was for her sewing:) Another encouraging post Jim! (do you prefer Jim or James btw?)

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    • Thanks for stopping by for a visit with us, Tracy! Many years removed, I still cannot get past the point of that instant feeling that I am in trouble anytime I hear “James”, so always go by “Jim” with friends, of which you are most certainly one. Little Red Bear is known simply as “Red” to his friends, although frequently reminds that we can call him most anything, except late for dinner. Have a wonderful week! 😉

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