It’s 11:00 PM, and she leans over and says, “Let’s talk.”
Or, your boss invites you to her office unexpectedly, and as you innocently arrive, there is a second person you don’t know in the room.
Or, as you walk by an office mate’s cubicle where a conversation has been going for at least 15 minutes, you hear accompanied with, “I’m sure he can explain it better.”
How often do any of these conversations end well?
Contrary to popular opinion, sometimes talking doesn’t make things better. Have you ever seen a salesperson get an order, but continue to talk and screw the deal up? It’s painful to watch!
Tom Lehrer said, “If you don’t have anything to say, the very least you can do is to shut up.” If you haven’t heard any of his material, check him out. https://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/tom-lehrer?utm_term=.taRAOqdQm#.vfazdeX9K . One of his best albums is probably The Year that Was, which is still available on Amazon.
Most of us who enjoy the right of free speech, seldom give that right more than an occasional thought. But perhaps there are similarities between exercising our right to free speech and exercise in general. Consider the following: A little exercise is good for almost every person. A moderate amount of exercise is good for most people. A rigorous exercise program of four hours or more a day is good for a much smaller group of the population.
As a person who is still grappling with learning when to hold my tongue, this post is a good reminder for me. Below is a poem with a message much more eloquent than my rantings. Enjoy!
The Tongue by Phillips Burrows Strong
“The boneless tongue, so small and weak, Can crush and kill,” declared the Greek.
“The tongue destroys a greater horde,” The Turk asserts, “than does the sword.”
A Persian proverb wisely saith, “A lengthy tongue—an early death.”
“Or sometimes takes this form instead, “Don’t let your tongue cut off your head.”
“The tongue can speak a word whose speed,” Says the Chinese, “outstrips the steed;”
While Arab sages this impart, “The tongue’s great storehouse is the heart.”
From Hebrew with the maxim sprung, “Though feet should slip, ne’er let the tongue.”
The sacred writer crown the whole: “Who keeps the tongue doth keep his soul.”
Reprinted in A Treasury of Poems, compiled by Sarah Anne Stuart
And as this note through the internet sails, the dogs await me with wagging tails.
Let’s all practice shoveling a little less dung, while saying yes to wagging tail, but no to wagging tongue.