“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” ~ Proverbs 15:1
I medaled in an event tonight while getting my toddler ready for bed. I consider it a personal-best performance, even though I couldn’t pin down how fast I went.
In the midst of the saga of the two-year molars, I have been dealing with a screaming, cranky child. Today he spent most of his verbal time crying or yelling instead of talking. It fully hit me at dinner how little time he had spent talking, when he finally said a word I understood. I clung to it like it was manna from heaven.
So giving him a bath tonight meant the yelling continued once he emerged from the tub. But instead of snapping at him to stop like I really (really) wanted to, I summoned everything in me as a parent, and quietly sang about fifty verses of “The Wheels on the Bus.” And while there were no crowds cheering me on as I made up verse after verse, the sound of my little boy cheerfully singing along couldn’t be beat.
Being able to come up with a gentle answer in a difficult situation can take as much discipline and practice as an athlete puts in. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it will be easy. Instead, take every opportunity to push yourself a little further, making kindness to everyone your goal.