I was going to write this long, thought out post all about one time when my mom taught me this big important life lesson... and then I decided to just throw it on a tote bag instead:
Because the more I thought about it, the more I couldn't pin point a single event in which my mom taught this to me. In fact, my mother isn't even the one who told me that quote, but it was she who taught it to me.
She taught it to me when she listened to both sides of every story. Fairness is a big deal to her (like, a really big deal) and she's not going to say anything until she believes it to be true.
She taught it by being totally and completely incapable of lying. This is all at once admirable, responsible, reliable and infuriating. I'm not making it up either. All it would take is one conversation with her and you'd see. She cannot tell a lie.
That's not to say she's tactless. Far from it. Part of the occasional shakiness in her voice comes from the desire to make sure the person knows she still loves them even if the truth is painful to hear. She puts it as tactfully and as straightforward as she can.
The shakiness also comes from being a little nervous to stand up for someone who may not be speaking their truth. It comes from pushing through how she might personally feel and reminding those that speak the loudest that perhaps not everyone thinks like they do and we should consider that.
Now, she didn't teach me that I had to act timid while being brave. She just taught me that there will always be times when the truth will need to be spoken. That in those times, my vocal chords might betray me and my eyes might swell up with tears and my feet might give out, but I better SPEAK THE TRUTH ANYWAY MISS CARRIE LYNN!
Because, eventually, it gets easier. Being honest and brave and kind has a way of rallying others to be honest and brave and kind. Maybe not in that moment. Maybe you sit down and no one says a word. But more often than naught, the truth eventually brings out the light and the goodness in all those around us.
I do not doubt. My mother knows it.