Several years ago there was an incident that involved my family. To this day, we are still dealing with the repercussions of words that were said with little thought by a person who really had no business in speaking up in the first place. It caused deep hurt, confusion, anguish. It altered a loved one's life. I don't know if that loved one will ever be the person they were before all this happened. I don't think the person who spoke up has a clue the damage they caused, the life-altering affect it had on this loved one of mine. But I know. I know.
The unbridled tongue. It's also called the unruly member. We humans have very little control over it, have you noticed? How often do we speak up, thinking we're being 'funny' or 'amusing' at the expense of someone else's feelings? How often do we put our 'two cents' in and don't think thru what we're saying ahead of time? Why do we give advice when no one's asked for it, or voiced opinions by sticking our nose into conversations we're only peripherally involved in? Do we weigh what we say? Do we plunge in? Do we end up regretting what we say? Or are we clueless?
I've written a couple of times about an older gentleman I knew several years ago. A wonderful, wise, and gentle man. A gentleman of the finest kind. He had an almost unheard of reputation of being a man who never said an unkind word about anyone. If he had nothing nice to say about someone, he wouldn't say anything at all. He'd smile benignly and remain silent. I have failed at times, but he is one of the best role models I've come across in my life and I have tried to follow his example. And since crossing his path in life and watching him in action, when I do slip and say something not particularly nice, Lloyd comes to my mind almost immediately. And I will apologize and ask for forgiveness. I am, after all, only human.
"Make somebody happy today. Mind your own business."
~ Ann Landers ~