March Hare: See all the trouble you started?
Alice: But I didn’t think….
March Hare: Ah, that’s just it. If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.
~Alice in Wonderland, 1951
Good advice during this political season. But, let’s face it, this is good advice for all of us…all the time.
How many times have we spoken words without thinking how they will affect another? How many times have our words, dripping with sarcasm, disrespect or flat-out disdain, stabbed someone clear through the heart? Did you see the expression on their face change before your eyes?
How many times have we engaged our tongues before engaging our brains?
Far too many times…and I count myself as part of this crowd.
How difficult is it to think about what we say before we say it? You’d think it was almost impossible based on what we hear around us. Sometimes it’s simply flying off the handle at a situation that causes our tongues to go rogue; and after we regain mental stability, we’re sorry for the outburst. Many times we justify our words as (tactless) honesty. At any rate, one thing is for sure…it’s usually tactless.
Each word spoken has tremendous impact. Our words can be used to build someone up or tear them down; to repair, reinforce or restore relationships…or serve to sever the relationship in the future when the other person gets tired of being on the receiving end.
Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, (161 to 180 AD) said, “Perform every act in life as though it were your last.” This could also translate to the spoken word as well; Speak every word to others as if it were your last. How would someone remember you based on the last exchange of words?
Jesus said, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” ~Matt. 12:36-37
Our words reflect back on us. The words we choose to say can reinforce our character and reveal our true nature. Next time, let’s think about our words…and the decision we make about how they are delivered.
The March Hare was very wise, don’t you think?