Today’s Thinking Out Loud reflection is on Harper Lee’s  work, To Kill a Mockingbird.

“Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.

“Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Note: When a developer drains a swamp destroying the habitat for thousands of animals, the developer destroys something beautiful and innocent in his/her quest for money. When we shame and condemn another, we, like the developer, destroy a part of the person being shamed. When we use false statements to support a lie we degrade ourselves in the process. All the mockingbird does is to sing. I have mockingbirds that frequently visit my yard and compete with me for ripened figs. They always win. I also win because I hear them singing. It’s better to consider the consequences of our actions before we act.

Ray Calabrese

By Ray Calabrese

I am an optimistic, can do, and never quit guy. The spirit of hope indelibly marks my DNA. My research at The Ohio State University helped people discover the best in themselves and change their personal lives, public organizations, and whole communities. I bring the same spirit and enthusiasm to my blog to help those who grieve who find themselves suddenly alone, navigate their grieving. Join my more than 24,300Twitter (@alwaysgoodstuff). I promise my tweets are always good stuff. Please feel free to email me at

3 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud: There are Consequences to Our Actions”
    1. Hi Art, I think my mockingbirds laugh at me. They lull me into thinking I’m going to get a few ripe figs, then they snag them. Have a great and peace-filled Thanksgiving. Ray

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