I was just reminded of an incident that happened a few years ago. I said something without having total knowledge and it bit me in the rear end. But it made me think about how often we say things that we probably shouldn't. How often do we speak something out loud before speaking it in our head? If we thought it to our self, or said it to our self before it hit our tongue, we might save ourselves embarrassment or hurt in the long run.
So what was it that happened to me? Well, this is my 5th year of being a girl scout leader and my last since my oldest is moving to another school next year. About 3 years ago we had a girl in our group who was brought by a lady in her late 50s (or so I assumed). Well, the girl was sweet, the lady was nice and always pleasant. So later in the year, this girl and her dad attended the father-daughter girl scout dance. I should also add that her parents were divorced so I had not seen her dad much of the year. Hang tight, this is where my assumption gets me in BIG trouble. While speaking with the girl and her dad, I told her "I saw your grandma today in Wal-Mart." Both of them looked at me with the most puzzled faces and said "Grandma????" Yeah, wait, uh, oh no, uh, ok... needless to say, I quickly realized the grandma figure that brought the girl to every single meeting was actually her MOTHER. So there I was staring at both the girl and the dad who was also the ex-husband. Let me just say he had the biggest laugh of his life at my expense. That has had to be my biggest foot-in-the-mouth moment of my life.
So because I assumed this lady was her grandma, I now have to live with the consequences of that assumption. I never could look her in the face again after that incident. There were only a couple more months of the school year left, but I was still humiliated every time she was there. And if you hadn't already guessed, the girl never returned to the troop again. I still hang my head every time I see her at school events.
Looking back on my mishap, I do have to laugh just a little. I was sorry that the whole incident happened, but it also taught me a lesson. I don't make assumptions now without knowing all the facts. That is how we learn - from our mistakes. And now I know to keep quiet when I don't really know the whole story.
This story is one where it was an honest mistake. I didn't intentionally call the lady a grandma, because obviously if I had known she was the mom, I would have referred to her correctly. But it makes me think about how often we say things before we think. Has something ever slipped off your tongue and then it was too late to take it back? Often times, we say things in the heat of the moment or when we are angry, and then those words cannot be retracted. It takes just a second or two to cause a painful sting to someone because of our words. So no matter what the situation, this is just a reminder that we should always think before we speak.
We are all guilty of it and sometimes we don't even mean to say things that we do. If we just had a filter that would take the thoughts in our heads and control what our tongue says, life would be good. But we don't, and we never will so we must learn to control what we say. Remember that we should talk about others like we would want them to speak about us. Unfortunately there are many people who like to gossip and bad mouth others, but then will be nice to those very faces they just spoke so terribly about. I have a philosophy that I won't say anything about someone that I cannot say to their face. Because if I cannot tell that person what I just said, then that is a problem. I would not want others to speak negative about me, so therefore I will not speak that way about others.
Just remember - say what you need to say, do what you need to do. Life is too short to sit around gossiping and seeing what dirt we can dig up on others. You may not always agree with others, but that does not give you the right to talk badly about them. God only wants good and kind words to leave our mouths, remember that little saying. You also cannot rewind what your mouth projects, so make sure not to say things you should not say. Think before you speak and it will save you alot of turmoil! Have a splendid day...