“Our days are happier when we give people a piece of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.”

That quote was posted on Facebook today by a lifelong friend, Gwenn Habernickel Hauck. I love every word.

Maybe because there’s so much static and rancor in the summer air. Call it a vocal heat wave. All the ranting, raving and ridiculousness in Washington, DC. The criticism of our gifted women’s soccer team that won the World Cup (“too cocky” because they won?). The horrors that are happening at our southern borders. I could go on.  I’d rather turn on the AC and hope things cool off so that people stop and THINK before they talk.

A journalist analyzed this Facebook quote, and I paraphrase: Someone will reject this quote at first because they believe there’a place for speaking one’s mind. For telling it like it is. For being authentic and true to our feelings. For being honest and forthright. 

Well there IS a place for that. We find that place easily and we find the place often, sometimes too easily and too often. This quotation appeals to us to ease off a bit. To chill. To take a deep breath. And when we do that, we may find ourselves giving another human being a great and precious gift.


Listening to what they have to say. Trying to understand it from their perspective rather than from ours. Hearing what’s behind the words that aren’t actually being spoken. Discerning what is left unsaid as much as what is expressed.

Most people don’t need a piece of our mind. But nearly everyone we meet or know can use a PIECE OF OUR HEART. They can use our empathy and our concern. They can benefit from our willingness to patiently hear them out. When people merely tell their story without judgement, something amazing happens. They grow.

Listening becomes a precious gift all by itself. Nothing else is required. When you’re poised to give the person a piece of your heart, rather than a piece of your mind, they’ll go away thinking you’re a person of rare brilliance and insight.

My hope is that the current heat wave of words, accusations, threats and bombast will be tempered with respect, love, honesty and kindness. We are better than what’s happening in our country now.