If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say….

This is a contribution by Jasmine. She had an assignment to write an essay on a phrase that has had some meaning in her life.

So this morning, I finished writing a paper for my English class about why it’s okay to be mean. By request, here it is.

We have all experienced that moment squirming in our seat, biting our tongue, that odd chuckle that escapes our lips as we died inside trying not to laugh at the extremely funny but rude comment that has built up inside of us. We must contain ourselves. The phrase we have heard a hundred times from our parents, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” rings in our ears. Yet, we have also found ourselves at times blurt out the inappropriate comment and suffocated laughing at our own joke. We had no remorse; it had to be done. 


My grandmother used to say the same thing, almost. I recall many memories sitting in the tall wooden chairs of her old-fashioned kitchen listening to the room echo with laughter, at one’s expense of course. You occasionally hear a new comer, who has not yet learned the ways of our sarcasm, complain of the pain this joke has impaled into their feelings. Then, the wise words of my grandmother can be heard, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Unless it is REALLY funny.” Then the laughter will once again break out at this wisdom.


Although it might seem rude and as though we have no self-control, there is something we call all learn from these words. Living here, in the small town, I have noticed that anything that could in any way offend anyone is off limits. People just will not say it. There is always more than one view point and often, for good intent, people will look only at the view of those it could possibly offend. My grandmother’s words have impacted me, I have the ability to laugh at myself and find the humor in things rather than the harsh rude view that many around me see. Please, do not think that my family and I look for opportunities to say something mean. The rule is to not say anything mean, unless it is REALLY funny. My family might have a mean sense of humor and sarcasm, but I would rather live in a house filled of impolite laughter than a home filled with political correctness where I would have to think twice about every word that comes out of my mouth

Hugs Mom  (I did have Jasmine’s permission to share this)

(In fact, I told her when she wrote it, that I was putting it on my blog. She has since asked a few time if I shared it yet.)

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About tycobeans
I'm a mom of 3, two bio teens & a little princess from Ethiopia. We have lived all over, but are now settled in Utah. Mostly I'll be sharing about our family life, I hope I have something to say that you enjoy!

2 Responses to If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say….

  1. ranton2011 says:

    Sweet! I read it before and it has brought me that goosepimply feeling each time.

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