Dear Friends, Cleaning out some closets, I found this poem, saved many years ago. I've tried unsuccessfully to find the author, so cannot give credit.
To be aware of tone is a reminder that I have needed often.
It's not so much what you say,
as the manner in which you say it;
It's not so much the language you use,
as the tone in which you convey it.
"Come here", I sharply said,
And the child cowered and wept.
"Come here", I said he looked and smiled,
And straight to my lap he crept.
Words may be mild and fair,
But the tone may pierce like a dart;
Words may be soft as the summer air,
But the tone may break my heart;
For words come from the mind
Grow by study and art,
But tone leaps from the inner self,
Revealing the state of heart.
Whether you know it or not,
Whether you mean or care,
Gentleness, kindness, love and hate,
Envy, anger are there.
Then, would you quarrels avoid
and peace and love rejoice?
Keep anger not only out of your words,
Keep it out of your voice.