A friend shared with me a very interesting story today. I share it with the hope that it will support each of us in upgrading our thang, our stuff, the way we live, move and experience ourselves in the world.
My friend said he was in a very good mood and went to work with high energy. Shortly after arriving, he met a co-worker who was not in such a great mood and asked, “Why are you so happy?” My friend explained that he was simply feeling good. The co-worker responded by saying, “Well after I tell you what happened, you will probably re-think that attitude.”
The co-worker then recounted a story of a meeting where my friend was not present. In that meeting another co-worker shared some information about my friend that was anything but flattering, kind or loving. Upon hearing what had been said about him, my friend’s mood and demeanor did in fact shift. He went from joy to rage in 30 seconds flat! In reaction to what he had heard, he marched off to the second co-worker’s office.
He found him reading a paper and eating a bagel, looking innocent and pretending to be unaware of how he had attempted to damage my friend’s good name in the work place. Without any explanation, my friend let him have it. He reamed him for saying what he did and noted that most, if not all of it was untrue. Before he could leave the office, however, the ill-speaking culprit quietly said, “It’s really funny that you are upset with me. I have heard lots of things you have said about me and I have never said a word to you about it. I just figured if it was important, you would let me know.”
My friend was cold-cocked in his heart. Within seconds, every unkind thing he had ever said about this man flashed in his mind. He tried to escape his own thoughts by offering excuses, “Oh, I was just joking!” Or, “Well, I was just agreeing with what so-and-so was saying!” But, he couldn’t find an honorable way around his own bad behavior. Instead, he turned to the man he had verbally assaulted and apologized. The guy offered him a seat and they talked for the next hour about the dangers of what floats through our minds and comes out of our mouths.
I thought about the number of times I have heard or been told something ugly that someone has said about me. How do I react? How has what I hear affected my mood? I admit that there have been times when something I have heard about me has sent me over the self-righteous end of “getting someone told.” I am better now! I have also wondered why in those moments many of us never ever consider the unkind, unflattering things we have said about other people? Things we have never brought to their attention or their ears? Do we always consider how our secret thoughts and conversations about other people would hurt or even scar them if they were to hear it?
Then, I realized that for some reason we human beings forget our connecting and impact on one another. We think if we do all the rights things, wearing a mask of I’m nice and you are not. Or, I’m right and you are wrong – – dead wrong; we are not held accountable for our secret thoughts and secret conversations.
In my own world I have learned that what comes out of my mouth in a function of what is going on in my mind. I am also a firm believer that what is going on in my mind, is more often than not a function of what is going on in me. It’s my stuff! What I think is often a clear indication of what I secretly feel, believe and attempt to hide about myself. Somebody please open the window before I faint!
Do you think before you speak? Share your thoughts!
Check back next week for part 2!