I was raised with 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Each of us is very different even though we have had the same experiences for the most part.
My eldest brother is very obedient and precise.
My older sister (next in age) is very fun and energetic and talented with just about everything.
Then there’s me in the lineup. I was very obnoxious to my younger siblings and even to my older ones. They were always kind to me, but my immediate younger two brothers took fair game to retaliate when my teasing and obnoxious behavior became too much.
I learned to be kind and get along about the same time I moved away from home. (sorry younger siblings. I do love you all, but I was very foolish as a child.)
I remember one campout we went on where things got out of hand. Normally we enjoy ourselves very much on hikes, camping, and family activities. This occasion was not a good representation of my family life, but it was a powerful learning experience for myself.
We were sitting around the campfire and trying to relax after a stressful day of those who had planned the event being stressed, and those who didn’t plan the activity wondering what the timeline was going to be and not being patient.
It began with one person teasing another and then it ended up with me giving a very curt and rude remark to my youngest brother who was one of us being impatient.
At this time, and probably forever more, my youngest brother was the strongest person in the family and in excellent physical condition. His argument with my oldest brother became heated to the point that they started to stand off to one another. I have a big head, and previously (long time previously…) having been the strongest in the family, felt it my solemn duty to intervene and diffuse the situation.
I spoke a very cutting remark to my youngest brother and basically labeled him forever more as a worthless creature...I don’t want to remember the words I said, but I cannot ever forget this night…
My remarks did instantly diffuse the situation, and turn everyone in the gathering to look down on me in complete shock for saying something so rude and disrespectful. Instantly, I realized that I had failed everyone and myself by letting the sentence come out of my mouth.
I have since seen a great meme on Facebook which says, “I seriously need a speed bump between my brain and my mouth.” and on that night, I wish there was a railroad crossing with a few hundred rail-cars waiting. Anything to take back that one sentence.
I have been counseled by many wise and kind adults who have seen my problem and longed to help me save myself from many painful experiences. I have met many heartless high school students with whom I have been very capable at quick witty exchanges...all of which I dominated with my brash words.
Now, I can happily say that I’m on the road of progress. I have built up many banks to cool and slow the words that would spew out of my mouth unchecked by my heart and mind.
I have worked for years to try to control my weakness of anger and lewd speaking. I have successfully withheld many rude comments and daily reflect with joy at the many unkind things that I HAVE NOT SAID. Yet, there are still too many painful words and expressions that come from me to another.
I envy those people who are slow to speech, or who lose words when they are angry or frustrated. I must work hard to be able to ‘bite my tongue’ and hold in what I call the ‘gravity remark.’
I call these unkind and witty remarks 'gravity remarks’ because they take no effort to let go. They just fall out without any thought or consideration to anything. Just like all else affected by gravity, they simple fall out and bring down their target.
I can say that for certain that the most painful thing we can do to another person is to speak harshly and unkind. It is therefore by definition the most healing thing we can do to speak kind and uplifting words of praise and respect to another person.
I hope that I am the only person who suffers from this painful failure. I cheer for those of you who have mastered to speak kindly and with reserve to the hearts and minds of others. I will continue to try to change from my weakness and control the words that are coming out of my mouth.
But, forgive me, please. When I make a mistake, or am stressed, or tired, or dumb and I speak unkindly. I will try to do whatever I can to undo hurt, and to take back ‘gravity remarks’ from those upon whom they have fallen.
I can proudly say that any success I have found in business is through the control of my thoughts and speech, and being careful in how I phrase statements, and what I say to another and more importantly, what I say about another behind their back.
Sales, and teamwork in college and in the business field have taught me to play nice with others. To spend my time trying to make other people happy, and still focus on my wants and dreams to accomplish them through my interactions with others.