My Tie to This Week's Quote

Many people have heard Camilla Kimball's famous saying, "Never suppress a generous thought." What you might not know is that these words were spoken to my mother.

Long ago, when I was just a teenager, my mom decided to make a tie for our neighbor. My grandfather had just returned from a trip to Asia with armloads of beautiful silks, and asked my seamstress mother to make him some one-of-a-kind ties from these silks. As she was sewing these ties for Grandpa, she suddenly thought it might be nice to make one for our neighbor, Spencer Kimball, who was also a world traveler. She selected a beautiful piece of fabric and made him a tie.

This was not just any neighbor, though. Spencer Kimball just happened to be the President of the Mormon church at the time...and a modern-day prophet. My mother was eager to do something special for him. But as she walked up the steps to their house on Laird Avenue, she started to second-guess herself:

"Who am I to be making a tie for the prophet?"

"What if he doesn't like the fabric I picked or the way I sewed it."

"They might think I just made it because he wears ugly ties."

"How will they know what's in my heart?"

"I should just back away now while I can."

As she was retreating down the steps, she heard the door swing open, and Sister Kimball (Camilla) called out to her. My mother shyly explained the situation...that she'd made a tie for President Kimball, but was suddenly embarrassed to give it to him.

That when Sister Kimball responded, "Never suppress a generous thought." And it has stayed with me ever since.

A few months later we saw President Kimball on television wearing Mom's tie!

It's not always easy, but when I second-guess my own imperfect gift-giving, I am often reminded of this story. And so I give anyway. Regardless of the presentation.

Sometimes it's just about the giving. Listen to our latest broadcast, "The Exceptional Gift of Self" here on the homepage, or at itunes:





   Jana Winters Parkin is an artist, writer, teacher, and adjunct art professor at UVU. She and her husband have 3 kids and 2 dogs, and she spends every day possible rejuvenating her soul in Utah's glorious mountains. She writes at and exhibits her work at


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