Learnings in Life
Contributed by Ashok G. Vasandani
Here’s a story I read in www.developgoodhabits.com that I’d like to share, something that we can all learn from.
ONE night in July at an all-girls summer camp, the campers were gathered around in a circle for their nighttime devotions. The counselor asked if any of the girls wanted to share something that had happened that day that impacted them. One camper raised her hand and said a girl from another camp cabin had said something that hurt her feelings and she was really upset about it.
The camp counselor went to the bathroom to grab a tube of toothpaste. She took the tube and squeezed it just a bit so some toothpaste came out. She then tried to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but it just created a mess. Then she squeezed the tube even more, pushing more toothpaste out and creating even more of a mess, but none of it would go back into the tube.
The counselor then told the campers, “this toothpaste represents the words you speak. Once you say something that you want to take back, it’s impossible and it only creates a mess. Think before you speak, and make sure your words are going to good use before you let them out.”
Speaking is a fundamental social skill required for living a successful life. However, many are careless with their words, but they hold so much power. They can have a direct impact on the outcome of a situation, creating a helpful or hurtful reaction in our world. The problem is, once words come out of your mouth, no amount of “I’m sorrys” will make them go back in: blurting something out and then attempting to take it back is like shutting the gate after the horse has taken off.
Thinking before you speak allows you the time to consider the potential impact of your words. Be careful when choosing where and when you let your words out. You can easily hurt other people, and once you do, you can’t take it back.
Words define who we are by revealing our attitudes and character, giving people an indication of our intellect or ignorance. Stop for a minute before you speak and question yourself about why you’re saying what you are. Are you trying to relay information? Relate to someone else? Make sure you’re able to take responsibility for whatever you’re about to say.
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