OPINION

Green: The endless benefits of sharing sweetness and kindness

RENAE GREEN

Do y’all remember “The Bee Movie” from the early 2000s? In it, Barry Bee (Jerry Seinfeld) tries to rid the world of injustice by putting a stop to all the honey stealing. According to Barry, honey is made by the bees and belongs to the bees. Humans have no right to it. Don’t worry, though. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but by the end of the movie, all is well. Humankind and beekind come to an understanding. The bees keep making honey and gladly share it with the rest of us.

Renae Green column

After watching that movie, I had a craving for a big glob of honey poured over a fresh, hot biscuit. My kids were still young, so I decided to do a little home study. We went to the store in search of the biggest jar of honey they had. For the kids. For educational purposes.

Believe it or not, honey is a diet-friendly alternative to sugar. Though it has a high calorie count, honey is processed differently by our bodies than white sugar. Processed sugar has already been . . . processed, and our bodies don’t have to do anything to it, so it turns straight to fat. Honey, on the other hand, has to be processed after it’s in our bodies. Therefore, eating honey burns more calories than eating sugar. (You’re welcome for the biology lesson.)

Honey is also an excellent antibiotic. According to some sources, honey applied to a wound will promote healing better than an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. It also helps calm the body at night, promoting better sleep. A tablespoon given to children ages three and up at bedtime will soak up liquid in the body, thus aiding in the prevention of bed-wetting. Honey can serve as a cough suppressant, and even as a laxative. The benefits are countless.

Honey does for our bodies what kind words do for our spirits. Have you ever noticed how a well-placed, pleasant comment can add sunshine to even the cloudiest of days? Words filled with encouragement and compassion can calm the anxious person, uplift the depressed person, and soothe the angry person. Sweet words are like honey for the soul. The benefits are countless.

And they’re free. It costs nothing to share a kind word, and the return on such a gift is beyond measure. When we offer gentle, thoughtful, benevolent speech to those around us, the goodwill we deliver will always come back many times over. Low cost. High return. You just can’t go wrong with that kind of investment.

As the kids and I stood in the grocery aisle, I felt a headache coming on. I remember the kids had been sick the previous week, and I hadn’t slept much. I couldn’t find the honey, and I was getting a little grumpy. I just wanted to go home and pour that gooey sweetness over a flaky biscuit, maybe even stir some into my tea. That would help my headache.

Then, a man who could have been my grandfather walked by and smiled. “You’ve got a pretty little girl there,” he said, referring to my daughter. “She looks like her mama.” Talk about pouring it on thick. What a flirt!

Funny, though. My headache was gone.

Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com