February 4, 2008.
"The tongue is a powerful tool. And the words we say are never forgotten. Never."
How many times have we said something we wished we wouldn't have said? Whether in a moment of anger or exasperation, we let something slip out and immediately wished we could take it back. The moment the ill-fated words left our lips, we knew we shouldn't have said them. But it was said nonetheless and now it's out there - and out there forever.
Oh sure, we can apologize up and down for the unkind words spoken; yet we can never, ever take them back. We can ask for forgiveness and say we're sorry from daylight to dusk; yet the fact remains we uttered words that should never have been said in the first pace. We may be forgiven, but the words may never be forgotten.
"Apply this simple rule to your conversations: If you wouldn't write it down and sign it, don't say it."
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Look, we all get steamed or hot under the collar on occasion. And there are times when we are sorely tempted to let it rip and give someone a piece of our mind. Yet that's the precise moment when we need to zip our lips, close them good and tight, and make absolutely certain we do not say something we're going to regret later.
There are other times when we foolishly blurt out a cutting remark that is purposely heartless or unkind. We lose our cool with a friend, co-worker or family member and allow our emotions to fly off the handle. Before we can stop ourselves, we have already said something that shouldn't have been said. And it's out there forever.
"Nothing lowers the level of conversation more than raising the voice."
Sure, there are some folks who make a regular habit of running their mouths and spewing horrible, hateful comments all over the place. But take a good look at these people. What do you see? Happy, healthy, harmonious individuals bringing value to everyone they meet? Hardly.
The people who habitually rant and rave every time things don't go their way are generally some of the unhappiest people on earth. They lash out at for any reason or even no reason at all, constantly complaining, griping and grumbling their way through life. Despondent and downtrodden, they spread their misery around.
"Our greatest experiences are our quietest moments."
Then there are the rest of us who suffer momentary lapses in judgment, occasionally misspeaking here and there. We don't make a habit of saying bad things to people, but still manage to toss in a zinger now and again. And that's not a good habit to say the least.
Regardless of whether it's a one-time gaffe or a never ending procession of nasty comments, the result is one and the same. Once you say something you wished you hadn't, it's already way too late. You can wish all you want, but you can never take it back. Not one single word of it.
Are nonstop arguments, spats and squabbles with those you associate with any way to go through life? No, it isn't. And can any of us win anyone else over to our side by continually ripping someone else? No, we cannot. So here's a good rule to follow when it comes to what you say: If you have something negative to say about someone else, why not avoid a bad air day by closing your mouth and keeping it to yourself?
The Bottom Line: If you're going to say something, make absolutely certain that it's something positive.
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