Last year Jane and I spent some time in Tennessee. One of the locals told us a fun little anecdote: Every time the locals made a derogative comment about a person (“he’s dumb as a doorknob”) they end it with “bless his heart”. As in: “He’s dumb as a doorknob. Bless his heart.”
At the time I thought it’s a fun way to “soften the blow”.
Last night we discussed this with a friend who’s staying at our place for the weekend and it occurred to me — it’s actually a wonderful way to force yourself into a mode of compassion for the other person. It’s pretty much impossible to be truly mean and harsh to or about someone if you end your sentence with “bless his heart”.
Having compassion is one (if not the) best way to create an environment where people thrive. Lack of compassion is the opposite — it’s acid. And not only will you and your venture perform better in an environment driven by compassion but it’s just more fun.
Bless his heart.