“Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.”~ Orson Scott Card
Do you ever wonder why children have trouble controlling their tongues, or say such cruel and insensitive things to other children? Or how difficult it is to bring your own tongue under control?
These are weighty questions because the unbridled tongue accounts for much collective misery. I shudder at the thought of the misery caused by my own intemperate words. I come from a culture where the spoken word is used like a saber; when drawn, at the slightest offense, it is used to carve up an offender like stalk of wheat.
Words were used to humiliate, castigate, execute, and destroy.
I remember as a child how the weaker children in our neighborhood were taunted and bullied. There always was a war being waged to see who would be king of the hill. In these days before the Internet, words were used directly, face to face, resulting in bloody fights or humiliating retreats.
- The truth is the unrestrained words of a child are often reflections of what they hear at home
- An intemperate mouth is passed from generation to generation
- A slip of the tongue can sometimes be measured not in days, but in years
I witnessed in my family a blood feud between two great aunts who spoke not a word to each for 50 years, all on account of one ill-tempered, ill-timed argument. When I asked Grandpa Pat about why Aunt Kate and Aunt Rose would not speak to each other he offered up this time honored observation:
- Weak people want revenge for ill words spoken
- Strong people offer forgiveness for ill words spoken
- Intelligent people ignore ill words spoken
Grandpa went on to say that many things are best left unsaid, but if you do speak, do so with tact.
Just a thought…
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