Friday, July 28, 2017

Taming the Tongue

Life in a village demands a guard on the tongue ...
(from Village School by Miss Read)

This is so true. In a small town, everyone is related to, or friends with, everyone else. When I read the obituaries I often am surprised to learn that so and so was so and so's sister, daughter, etc.

It is truly wise to be careful what we say. Especially in a village. And it seems to me, it's all a village: the church village, the school village, the office village, the family village, the neighborhood village, the Twitter village, the blogland village.

Not that it's easy. This is an area I struggle with. I'm getting better, but I know I still say things I later wish I had not. It's not that I intend to gossip or be hurtful, but rather that it's my natural inclination to share my thoughts. I'm too open.

In fact, my brother tells me that when we were teenagers, my mother told him that if he didn't want something to be repeated or made known, to not say it in front of Bess! Aargh! So you can see this has been a longtime thing with me.

These days I do try to think before I speak (or write). Sometimes I say a prayer before I speak.

Because once the words are out, they cannot be withdrawn. (Well, fortunately we bloggers can edit our posts, which helps a little.)

Transparency is a buzz word these days. I was transparent way before it was a thing!!! But I don't think we're to be transparent (used as being open and honest) at someone else's expense.

On the other hand, there is such a thing as "just making conversation" in which one has no idea she might be saying something that is hurtful or offensive to her "audience." In that case, we can certainly apologize upon learning of our offense, but then I think we can let it go without beating ourselves up over it. (However, I'm not very good at that second part either. I don't like to hurt people.)

Still, as they say, it pays to be cautious. "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." (Attributed to both Abe Lincoln and Mark Twain?)

And then there is this adage my mother often said, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all."

Lord, help us all! Right?! (Read the book of James in the Bible for more on taming the tongue.)

Enjoy your weekend!
(I think all the photos are from 2015.)

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