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Jim Griffith Columnist

Published Sunday, July 29, 2012

Changing what you choose to say

I read that a Massachusetts school recently observed what they called, “No Name Calling Day.”

There was no follow-up report on what happened, but, if enforced, it may have been one of the quietest days in the history of the school because some students used restraint in what they said about each other.

As I recall in the long ago, control of speech was taught by parents in the home before the children went to school.

Although I never experienced it, when some children used “bad words,” parents washed out their mouths with soap.

Other parents taught by setting a good example.

It would be a better, more considerate world if we followed the example of my grandmother, who said: “If you can’t say something good about somebody, don’t say anything at all.”

There was a man in this little town who was known as one of the meanest, vile-talking fellows in the entire community. “He cussed more than he discussed.”

However, a wonderful thing happened. At the spring revival meeting in the local Baptist church, he got religion.

Later, a buddy of his was talking to him. He said, “You are quieter. You don’t talk as much as you used to.”

“You are right,” he replied. “When God got hold of me and I joined the church, I felt led to get rid of about two-thirds of my vocabulary.”

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