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“Before I Speak, I Ask Myself . . .”

“Before I speak, I ask myself: ‘Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?’ And I usually keep my mouth shut.” Fred Astaire

This sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Yet, for me this is easier said than done. In the heat of the moment, it might seem true. Emotional reasoning has a way of coloring the truth. It might also seem necessary, because if I don’t say it, I might explode. And the concept of “kind” is often the farthest thing from my mind.

I read somewhere that Fred Astaire’s dance moves appeared effortless because he rehearsed relentlessly. Over time, the moves became somewhat automatic. I am not physically graceful, and have no dreams of dancing. However, perhaps  if I tried relentlessly asking Astaire’s questions of myself, I might be able to appear effortless in my gentle relating with others. With enough practice, it might even become automatic!