Sheila's Motto

"Endeavor to enhance the lives of others through education and encouragement."

Monday, February 1, 2016


When you hear the word labels, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  It might well be a sticker such as the one pictured above. While required in the food industry, there is another kind of label that I am referencing this morning, and that would be the type we apply to people which would be the verb usage of the word as opposed to the noun.

If the application is an affirmative one, no problem, and all the better; however, if it carries a negative connotation, there can be far reaching effects, especially if it was applied without substantiation.  Enter the world of opinion which seems to have no end.

Take a moment to reflect upon your life.  Have you been the unfortunate recipient of an unkind or unhealthy label glued to you?  What effect did this have on you in the past, and are you still struggling under the weight of it today?

My sweet mother, Rita, who is no longer with us, counseled her children that she was rearing in the 1960’s with, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”  As I wondered about the possible origin of that saying, I came across the following information:

“Quote Investigator: The earliest evidence located by QI was published in a magazine profile of Alice Roosevelt Longworth titled “The Sharpest Wit in Washington” published in “The Saturday Evening Post” issue of December 4, 1965. Interestingly, the expression was not spoken; instead, it was embroidered on a pillow. Also, the word “good” was used instead of “nice”. Boldface has been added to excerpts: 1

We walked to Mrs. Longworth’s upstairs sitting room, where she often reads until six o’clock in the morning. Books were piled everywhere on the tables and on the floor, and contemporary newspaper clippings were strewn on the side tables. Coyote skins were lying on the backs of two large, comfortable chairs, and on one of the chairs was a pillow with the words, IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT SOMEONE, SIT RIGHT HERE BY ME.”

While I can’t speak to the veracity of the above, a portion of the description of Mrs. Longworth’s upstairs sitting room could apply to my little living room, i.e., books piled everywhere and contemporary newspaper clippings strewn on the side tables and so forth.  It was my daddy, Trapper Fred, who had coyote skins lying on the backs of chairs inside our house located on Sage Creek Farms.

What I can speak to is sharing with you some of the steps that I have taken to formulate new labels in my life.  One of the key aspects of formulating is to create or devise a strategy for positive change.

  • I changed my thoughts, ergo, I changed my world.  I am endeavoring to become who I was destined to be, not who or what someone else thought I should be.  Critic Land has no population shortage.
  • There has been a saying floating around of late which goes something along the lines of, “If I had to cut you out of my life, you provided the scissors.”  At first blush, that may sound sort of humorous.  Truth be known, if there are people in our lives who create toxic atmospheres and do not have our best interests at heart, is there wisdom in continuing to foster that friendship and/or relationship if the other person is unwilling to contribute in a positive sense?  You have to be the judge of that situation.  Negativity breeds negativity.  The converse of that is true as well.
  • Foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals which are essential for good health.  How many of you recall the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor?  Popeye began as a character in Elzie Segar's daily strip, Thimble Theatre.  He quickly became popular and the Fleischer brothers, Max and Dave, turned him into a cartoon in the early 30's.  His first appearance was July 14, 1933.  His little jingle was,

                                                “I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
                                                 I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
                                                 I'm strong to the finich
                                                 Cause I eats me spinach
                                                 I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.”

  • While continuing to eat my spinach, I also drew up a blueprint to fortify my life.  A defensive framework was set in place for protection.  Healthy relationships are as vital for daily living as is healthy eating.
  • Most importantly, I endeavor to apply Ephesians 2:20 to my daily life, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  [Emphasis mine]. According to Strong's Concordance of the Bible, the Greek meaning of the word peripateo is to walk.  In other words, it's a way of life.  Realizing that I may fall short of this, I must continue to walk!

I would enjoy hearing from you regarding this aspect of labels along with strategies you have implemented to fashion and affix new ones.

Happy Reading, Labeling, Eating & Walking!

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