Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Think Twice, Speaking Once, and Apologize When Needed

In pursuit of a more compassionate life, I am challenging myself to think twice before I speak.  That way I can say what I mean and what I feel needs to be said, but I lessen the risk of being needlessly mean.  That doesn't mean that I will quietly sit their an d let people say stupid things around me, but it does mean that I will think about whether or not I need to comment.

This resolution comes from a nasty set of exchanges I had with somebody on a networking site.  I am still convinced that I am in the right and she is the wrong, but I needlessly made a comment that while true, was nasty and really didn't further my argument.  I apologized, but she felt it necessary to get the last dig in.  I learned my lesson, and didn't respond.  She refused to acknowledge that I might know what I was talking about (simply because she's a graduate student and I'm not, which is a case of economics, not brains or ambition).  Fine, her loss.  I'm done. She can feel insecure and picked on, I'm not going to let her attack me, but I'm also not going to feed it.  It does no good to anyone.

We have all said or done things that we wish we could take back, that is the nature of free speech.  We don't have to have many of these moments.  All it takes is a little reflection before opening one's mouth.  That way, we don't injure others, and hopefully, it will inspire others to not injure us.  Words can hurt; they have incredible power, and we all need to honor that.  Wield your words as carefully as you can so they do not harm anyone.  This one easy way to begin cultivating a more compassionate life.

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