Old enough to carry a scissors
I remember the day I was deemed “old enough” to carry an “adult” pointed scissors into the next room for Mama. She stopped her sewing machine long enough to hand the scissors to me, then she instructed me how and why to carry the scissors.
“You always hold the scissors with the pointy side down,” she demonstrated. ” If you fall, the point will go down to the floor and not into you.”
“Never, ever run when you have scissors in your hand,” she added. “It makes it easier to fall and hurt yourself or others,” she explained.
Mama taught us things like how to rest a hoe or a rake: pointy side down. This reason, also, was for protection. If the hoe is placed pointy side down, you won’t step on the edge or get hurt. The same is true with a rake. When the points of a rake are downward, they will seldom harm anyone.
Old enough to hold one’s tongue
Mama also taught us, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, you don’t need to say anything at all.” I learned how to carry a scissors better than I learned not to say anything at all.
Mama also said, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it doesn’t behoove any of us to talk about the rest of us.”
It goes to show that it’s easier to do the right thing than to be the right person. We never completely conquer that battle, but we can grow better with time and practice.
I’ve come to realize that a tongue is like a scissors. There’s a right way to hold a tongue. If we keep it pointed down instead of out and open, we do less damage. This means there is less repair work necessary down the road.