7. Don't speak ill

"When we threaten someone else's reputation we put our own at risk, ask well."  --Dr. Forni



  1. Give each student a piece of paper, and ask them to crumple it up.  Then ask your students to flatten out the paper so that all of the wrinkles are gone.  Explain that feelings are like the paper.  Once unkind words are spoken, it is impossible to take them back, just like it is impossible to flatten out all the wrinkles in the paper.
  2. Have you ever heard the saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"?  Challenge each member of the group to pantomime a way to keep their mouth closed: zipper, button, glue, etc.


Discussion questions:

  1. What can you do when you hear someone speak unkindly?
  2. What can you do when someone speaks unkindly to you?
  3. How does not speaking ill help us to be civil?
  4. What is the difference between this rule and rule number 6, "Speak kindly"?