Monday, January 4, 2010

Words...back at you

It's been said that there are three things that don't return: the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the missed opportunity. I've never tried archery, and have pretty much taken the position that a missed opportunity wasn't meant to be anyway. The spoken word? Unfortunately, words seem to come back to haunt us again and again.

Does it matter who is throwing our words back at us, spouse, partner, child, parent, or friend? Not really. It rarely feels good to have our words thrown back at us by anyone, ignoring context, intent, and any possibility of mistaken interpretation.

I have grown especially tired of being told that someone has "tried it my way" and it didn't work. Inevitably such cases are characterized by people who were looking for an easy fix rather than a new approach. Often the "my way" that was attempted was a half-assed version done without full understanding or thought about possible consequences. The verdict still comes back: we did it your way and it failed.

Upon further thought, I think understand the wisdom of the old saying. Once words have left your mouth, you never have a chance to get them back under control. Others can twist and manipulate and distort those words to their heart's content, adding insult to injury with the pronouncement, "You said it."

I'd resolve to remain mute, but there's no way I'd be able to pull it off anyway. Guess I'll stick to more pedestrian resolutions, like losing some additional weight. In that task, perhaps the bitterness of eating my words will be of some assistance.

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