Recueille-toi avant de parler.
ruh-KUH-yuh twah aa-vahd paar-lay. Click below to hear this.
Collect yourself before you speak.
Or–more simply put–think before you talk. Good advice at any time, but especially before you press the “send” button on your email, text, or tweet. They are a form of talking, too, after all. And by being too hasty, you may inadvertently misspeak. or even insult someone.
Recueillir means to gather, to collect, to welcome (guests into one’s home, for example). And se recueillir means to collect onself, to gather one’s thoughts, to meditate. The imperative form recueille-toi should alert you to the fact that its conjugation is irregular: where you would expect endings in -is and -it, and -iss- in the plural forms, you get the same endings as an -er verb. It happens infrequently, but there are a few verbs like that.
Recueille-toi is a good reminder for the hectic holiday run-up. Stop. Take a deep breath. Remember why we have a holiday in the first place. Think about those who aren’t worrying about how big the turkey needs to be, or whether the gifts will arrive on time, or where to put the tree, but rather about where their next meal will come from, and whether it will be enough for the children, and where it may be safe to sleep tonight. As infrequent as our irregular verb and our own willingness to pause and reflect, are safety, adequate nutrition, and clean water for much of the world.
Recueille-toi. And if you want to change the world, consider donating to UMCOR. Every penny donated goes to relief. None of it goes to advertising or administration.
Alternate audio file link: recueille-toi-avant-de-parler