Those are some sad words to begin your thoughts about something or someone. Some advice from today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog are well worth considering –
“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait.” (Unknown)
I might add, “Before you judge…” I’ll let you fill in the words that should follow that opening phrase. There’s the old Biblical saw from Matthew 7 – “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” It is the rush to judgement that provides the foundation of prejudices and fears.
In today’s social media world, one could add, “Before you post, pause” or maybe “Before you Tweet, reconsider.” The same is true of sending emails or text messages or posting to Instagram. Everything is retained somewhere these days and lots and lots of trials and media stories revolve around the content of those electronic posts that people seem to send off without regard to their future use or misuse.
So, it is good advice to take the time to think about what one is saying or writing or posting before opening one opens one’s mouth or before hitting the send/post button. In interpersonal settings, the advice should probably be to listen more than you talk and to carefully choose your words, if you feel the need to express an opinion or to react to something that someone else has said. I recall the quote –
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Unknown
You might not be thought to be a fool, perhaps shy, quiet or somewhat withdrawn; but, any of those is better than becoming well known as a prejudiced bigot. It is better to be considered to be somewhat of an enigma than to be well known as a jerk or an idiot.
I was going to write more about the topic of applying this advice to discussions about politics; but then I took the advice from above, stopped and thought. Enough said and written.
If you are reading this, I decided to hit the post button. If only I hadn’t…