My mother was a woman who could cut through the heart of things with just a few words. She had eight kids and countless foster boys and had a neighborhood filled with kids who called her Mama.

I can still hear this little 5’2″ under 100 pound woman saying these words. The same words I said to my kids and I’m sure my siblings said to theirs.

“Don’t be ugly. God don’t like ugly.”

My boys played soccer and basketball growing up. After each game the two teams would line up and walk towards each other and shake hands with each other and mumble, “Good game, good game.” The losing team members weren’t as enthusiastic, but they didn’t call the other players names or ridicule them or treat them like they were complete morons. At the end of the season the winning team got a large trophy and each player on every team went home with a smaller one. After the game we’d go to a restaurant or to someone’s home and have pizza or a potluck and the boys would roughhouse and laugh, the moms and dads would talk and relax, and by the time those boys went to bed that night everything was good. Next year would work itself out and while it did, character was being built.

We have an election coming up next week. Most people don’t bother voting for these local races and that is a shame. When you vote, even if there’s only a handful of seemingly insignificant primary races, your trophy is that you got to vote, to wear a sticker, to be part of the process.

I don’t expect many people to walk up to someone that voted for a different candidate to say, “Good game, good game.” For far too many election seasons it hasn’t been a good game. They have been mean-spirited and brutal and I hated the way both parties did some things. It was lousy sportsmanship all the way around.

What I do expect is that people will think of my mother’s words before they respond to a post or open their mouth when coming face to face with someone who wants to discuss any hot-button topic.

Don’t be ugly. God don’t like ugly. And with that I am going to do something that makes me happy, something I can control. Tonight a friend I have not seen for far too long is picking me up. We are going to my favorite Mexican restaurant and then to see a movie I have never seen on the big screen. I will eat and laugh and we are not going to be ugly.

God does not now and never has liked ugly.