“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” (Margaret Thatcher)
They say it takes twenty-one days to change a habit. Three weeks. What incredible trait would you like to add to your life by, let’s see, June 8? What nasty habit would you like to be rid of by then?
I’ve been thinking a lot about words. Our president gets in trouble with his careless words. (I think both sides would agree on that.) But how often do I smack my forehead over something stupid I said? As my brother-in-law often quips, “You can’t un-flush a toilet!”
“But let every one be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” (James 1:19)
“For we all stumble in many ways. If any one does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.” (James 3:2)
So for the next twenty-one days, I want to be slow to speak (when I’m frustrated or mad) and quick with a kind word. Recently I tried to dash into the grocery store without being seen in my puffy, unflattering sweat pants and semi-brushed hair. The deli lady greeted me with “Hello Lovely!” in her lilting voice. And I smiled. Her words made my day.
And lest this seem like “Blog Lite,” consider this. Daily good stuff changes things.There’s an event in cities across America called Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest, which is a challenge for citizens to perform acts of service during a one-week period. Inmates at the California Institution for Women decided to compete and “for the first time in the institution’s history, 11 days went by without a single violent incident.” (Joe Ramer, co-founder of the Compassionate Action Network)
Call me naïve, but I believe in intentional do-gooding! I respect it in others. And I want to be full of healthy habits, so I’m gonna watch my words for the next twenty-one days.
Might require duct tape.