Proof that inspiration can strike you anywhere happened to me today. While I was getting my haircut today the wonderful lady doing the service and I began chatting about all things positive. She brought back a quote I haven’t heard since I was young. “It’s like my mom always said” she exclaimed. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” As she started rinse the shampoo from my head I started thinking. Which is pretty much all you can do while somebody else is washing your hair. That is a piece of wisdom a good many of us have heard from childhood. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, my good friend Jamie taught me to look at things backwards. Not saying anything mean certainly helps the people you are talking to, or about. What does it do for us? I began to meditate on this for a while. Not to intensely as by this time there were sharp instruments near my head. It reminded me of another quote from the Buddha that I particularly enjoy. I am paraphrasing here as I do have the exact quote in front of me. “Anger is like holding a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned” Think about how you feel when you say something about that driver that cut you off. The lazy co-worker whose work you end up doing on top of your own. The in-laws that won’t mind their own business. In all of these cases we have a right to be upset, but while verbally lashing out may help us relieve some anger in the short-term, does it really help us feel better? After leaving the break room while either joining in or sometimes just overhearing a long session of gossip how do you feel? Now let us flip this around. We know what will make us feel terrible, but what about the first part of the motherly quote, saying something nice. Think about how you feel when you tell somebody how nice their spouse is. How does it make you feel when somebody gives you the same compliment. I have a good friend Cari, who is very kind and inspirational to a lot of mutual friends we have. At any given time when the friends are together without her, inevitably her name comes up. The funny thing is 100% of the time we trade stories telling how amazing she is and what joy she has brought to our lives. We all end up leaving feeling a little bit happier inside knowing what an amazing friend we have. Although the compliments are all for Cari and she may never even know they were said (unless of course she reads this post) all of us who said them also receive the gift of joy as well. It is the opposite of the quote from the Buddha. Instead of getting ‘burned by the coal of anger’ we are being ‘blessed with the gift of love and compliments’. So next time you are tempted to join in on some gossip, or curse at the bad driver in front of you. Do what Kelly told me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” It will be better for those on the receiving end, but it will also be better for you level of happiness as well. Who knows, it may even make the world a little better of a place.