Speak Softly…

January 27, 2013

Hmmm…. this Year of Listening thing is going to be interesting.

This Mama Bear is up in arms because of the treatment of one of her children in the name of “fairness.” How I loathe that word!

It wasn’t about fairness at all. These children swarmed and hounded and punished her–even after she did the right thing. I watched her defend herself with tears in her eyes. They “worked it out” and yet one child wanted to repeatedly make sure she didn’t apologize because after all what transpired “wasn’t fair.” That’s what my child walked away with–not the fact she could hold her head up high for doing the right thing even if it wasn’t easy or that she necessarily didn’t want to.

Here’s the kicker–I have the opportunity to “enlighten” these girls about fairness. I am their scout leader after all. Oh, I so want to rage and lay the hammer down–Hulk Smash will have nothing on me! And it’s not just because it was my child … it is a statement about our culture raising generations of self-entitled, whiney, spoiled, mediocre, mindless, government-dependent citizens crying “It’s not fair–I don’t have what you have and it’s not my fault.”

No I didn’t sleep well. I don’t when in a tizzy. But in class today, I was asked to listen again.

If last week we looked at how Christ was full of truth and grace (John 1:14) and the need to reflect Christ through us and therefore being kind, then this week we looked ever deeper about what that means for us.

Colossians 4: 6 — Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.

In my own Joyful Servant class last week we were talking about being “a light of the world. A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.” (Matt. 5:14-16) We talked about all the ways we show that light–example, kindness, giving, serving, praying, teaching…

These same children that I’ve been teaching are the same who put my child undeservedly in her place in the name of fairness.

And if I swoop in with righteous indignation I will not be that light nor will I show that grace. Listen.

What’s the phrase? Speak softly and carry a big stick? These children have been with me for a long time–they know I carry a big stick.

Speak softly. Maybe they will listen.

Okay. I’m listening and I have a few days to figure this out.



  1. I’m a mama bear too, I feel for you in this situation!

  2. What a difficult situation! It isn’t easy being a Mama Bear.

    • Thanks! I’m processing it and thinking on it and I think I have a good idea to show how fair does not equal “all things equal” nor would they want it that way. It will also show thier treatment of my child was very “unfair” by their own definition because she chose to make things right and equal. I’ll keep you posted!

  3. […] the musings of a sea widow « Speak Softly… […]

  4. Let your speech always be with Grace…this made me think of my Dad. When we kids fought – there were five of us – regardless of fault or fair he made us recite ; A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver; Proverbs 25:11
    This was often repeated with great malice and anger 🙂

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