I can see clearly now…

That headline was an opening lyric from the song made famous by Johnny Nash –

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day.

The quote used in today’s installment of the Jack’s Winning Words blog made me think of that song. Jack used – “Some things are just better left unsaid, and I usually realize that right after I say them.”

That quote got me to thinking about things that would have been best left unsaid and deeds that should have never been done. I suppose we all have some regrets for things that we have said or done, or maybe things left undone or unsaid. It is much easier to clearly see things like that in retrospect than to have the personal discipline to do or say the right things as events are unfolding.

The important things it to recognize life’s mistakes, forgive yourself for them, learn from them and move on with life. I hope that by learning from them, one avoids repeating them. As for the things that we say, one has only to look to Proverbs for some good advice on that –

 “Evil words destroy one’s friends; wise discernment rescues the godly.” (Proverbs 11:9).

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15: 1)

“Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)

One of the things that the quote in Jack’s blog highlights is that speaking without first thinking is what usually gets us into trouble. Blurting out a response or a thought that pops into your mind, without pausing to give it some thought often leads to regret.

The best advice might be always to pause before you speak or respond to give your mind the time needed to consider what you are about to say. There are many reasons not to say something, not the least of which is to consider if to might be hurtful to someone else. There is never a good reason to say something that would hurt someone else.

Maybe we should all wear a little wristband with S-T-S on it for Stop, Think, Speak. That is much better than what today’s quote would put on that wristband – S-T-R (Speak, Think, Regret). If we all did that perhaps the words from the famous Frank Sinatra song, My Way, would apply – “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but them again too few to mention.”

Stop and see clearly before you speak.

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