If you can’t say something nice …


By Melanie Yingst



Well, it has been less than 24 hours since the United States of America has been under the direction of our 45th Commander in Chief President Donald J. Trump.

And from my social media news feed: some are elated, some are devastated and most are indifferent.

And that’s OK.

While the country experiencing the dawn of a new era, I can’t help but wonder what our country is going to look like and feel like, in coming months and years ahead.

We are a nation of opinions. We are a nation of hundreds of millions of individual opinions and much like snowflakes, they are all different and unique.

So while we are in the blur of a political snowstorm, I guess I’d like to encourage people to go back to the basics.

Growing up, my mother always told me, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” She was right. In fact, that little saying was one of the first things I thought of as I cruised through social media and read all the conflicting feedback about the Presidential Inauguration on Friday.

For me, I’d like to throwback to Casstown Elementary School circa 1989 as a kindergarten student in Mrs. Shindollar’s class.

So here’s my spin on Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. ”

Today, of all days, I personally think it’s fitting that we all be reminded that we are all in this together class.

So let’s go back to the basics we all learned in Kindergarten shall we?

10. Sharing is caring. Share your knowledge, share your joys, your highs and your lows. Share your story. Go ahead and share your opinion and maybe, just maybe, you’ll share a perspective one has never considered before. Share freely, but do so in a caring manner.

9. Pick up after yourself. I always got in trouble for this. Heck, I still do. Yet, to apply it today, leave a positive mark. Don’t leave a mess for someone else to take care of. Try to make things a little bit better than what you found them, but at least don’t leave them any worse.

8. Play fair. Fair is six days in August, but let’s all not try to one-up each other. You do you. I’ll do me. Let’s play fair together and if we can’t do that, let’s not play at all.

7. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. This was a biggie during the campaign. People were upset that you stole campaign signs from others’ yards. A lot. If it isn’t yours, leave it alone.

6. Listen. Listen to what others have to say. Listen with your heart. Listen with an open mind. Listen with your eyes and see what that person is trying to share. Then listen with your ears. Your opinion may never change, yet listening to others is always welcome.

5. Use your imagination. Try to imagine where someone else is coming from. Try to imagine their experience in life and how that may have shaped them and their opinion.

4. Treat others how you want to be treated. Amen.

3. Kindness is love with work boots on. I stole this from the most unlikely of places — Anna Faris’ epic film “House Bunny.” Yet, this saying has always stayed with me. Kindness is love in motion, love at work. Kindness always wins.

2. Hold somebody’s hand. Reach out to one another. Lift each other up. Resist the urge to stoop to someone else’s level. The high road has a much better view. Trust me.

1. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Finally, I’ll close with this. We can all agree to disagree. You have your opinion, I’ll have mine.

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By Melanie Yingst

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She’s had her mouth washed out with Lava soap more times than she cares to admit.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She’s had her mouth washed out with Lava soap more times than she cares to admit.

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