31 July 2014

Food for Thought

A conversation with a friend brought up the subject of old regrets, and he mentioned a Facebook page called "I Wish Life Had an Un-do Button".

Real life doesn't work like that, though. We all have regrets, and might-have-beens. An old flame ... old arguments ... broken relationships ... ill-considered job choices ... harsh words, or whatever. You can't go back and change it. No amount of daydreams, wishing, or tears will make it different.

What was, was, and you can't change that. All we have is now, and we must try to make it as good as we can.

Consider the words that you're about to speak; one of the wisest things any human can learn is, "Just because it goes through your head, doesn't mean it should come out of your mouth."

Another way to put that is, "Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.*"

If the people around you are worth keeping around, then you must learn to speak gracefully. Don't burn your bridges ... and you know what they say about "stepping on the little guy".

Learn to think twice before speaking, and if you're angry, three or four times. My friend was expressing regret for a conversation that took place in 1974, and how that had seemingly changed the course of his life. Stuff happens, and often for good reason, but sometimes it happens because of one's own mistakes.

If we neither learn from them nor make amends for them, then we will live a sad life.

If you love someone, tell them. Don't spend your life regretting a missed opportunity; we've all done it, and it's not pretty. Be gracious, as often as you can. Be polite, and smile when it's appropriate. It sounds trite, but you never know whether your smile might be the only one that person got, that day. It could make a huge difference to them, and costs you only a moment.

Like I said, just a thought.

*Ephesians 4:29


Stephen said...

Amen. And, I had a few....

Rev. Paul said...

Understood, Stephen. When I was a young man, I only opened my mouth to change feet.

JMD said...

RP, apparently we are cloned individuals. I hope I have mellowed and became wiser. Otherwise I am running out of years.

Rev. Paul said...

JMD, it's part of the human condition & our fallen nature.
Praise God, He's given us a way out!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Poor word choices by both parties left my youngest and I estranged for over a month. Forgiveness and love have prevailed.

Rev. Paul said...

That's good to hear, WSF; I'm glad.

Anonymous said...

I'm no longer friends with two men, largely because of my actions and words. I've made amends, but no repair in the rifts resulted.
One had been my best man at my wedding!
My motto today - in all things - is PAY ATTENTION, in words and deeds. And surroundings.
Sadly, being human, it's still done imperfectly.


Rev. Paul said...

Guffaw, we all have those stories in our backgrounds. It's not always possible to get along with everyone, no matter how hard we try.

But often, the rifts occur because of a thoughtless or unkind word or action on our part.

We're all subject to human frailty, darn it.