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Gentle Virtues


02/01/2008 - The word guard can be found in quite a few words: guarding, guarded, unguarded, guard-boat and...Right Guard! Let's look at the word guardianship.

In Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of The English Language, guardianship is defined as "protection; care". It's base word, guard, in Italian, "guardare", means "to keep, preserve, defend; also to look, to behold."

Have you been entrusted as a guardian? If so, you have been given a very special duty. You, like myself, have been called to "active duty".

During summer months, we can see a lifeguard actively keeping an eye on children in and around the pool, ensuring that each one remains safe. We can find guard rails along Wyoming's highways. They are there to protect us. I would like for us to take a moment and think of an invisible guard. It is just as important as a lifeguard or a guard rail. It is the guard each of us can set over our own mouths.

One of my friends, someone I highly respect, keeps a notecard by her phone reminding her to set a guard over her mouth. She says it has stopped her from saying harmful things that hurt.

How do we spend most of our time? Are we spending it more as guardians, protecting and caring for those around us? Or are we spending most of our time being guarded?

Some of us may have received not only our parents' genes, but also their rejection. Do any hurtful words from a parent or guardian come to your mind? Do those words still leave a sting? Do they prevent you from loving freely?

Hurtful words cause us to be fragmented. It's up to us if they will leave us that way. When we choose to forgive and not hold a grudge, we will heal. And when we heal we will return to wholeness, the root word meaning for the word heal.

As guardians, let's be careful that we don't pass along generational issues. Instead, let's only pass on our genes and good generational recipes and traditions.

When we guard our children from hurtful words, they will regard us. They, too, will learn how to be good guardians. Now...let us return to active duty.

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