“Think quickly but speak slowly”. I am not sure where I read that or heard it, but it is such a good thought for our daily lives, well mine at least.
A couple of days ago I slipped and fell at a gas station. I have also written of how icy it is here in Winnipeg right now. That ice make driving difficult but possibly even more dangerous for just walking. Bumps, ridges, uneven spots make the ice uneven to walk on. With each step you could find you foot suddenly sliding in one direction or another.
That is exactly what happened to me. I slipped, fell and wacked my head on the way down. Now as I was trying to get up I slipped and fell again, this time on to my chest. Now to add insult to injury, when I did regain my footing, I saw a Lady laughing at me. OK, she was trying her best to hide it, or suppress it.
Now my first reaction was of embarrassment, then of, how dare she be laughing at me. Like, doesn’t she have any feelings, I could have been seriously hurt. Now I am almost embarrassed to admit it but for the briefest moment some of my “old way of thinking” arose. Some how I began to become more upset at the fact that she was laughing than I was at actually having taken the fall. Huh, go figure that…. embarrassment I guess. But, suddenly here I was upset with her and she had absolutely nothing to do with it. There was a time when I may have actually said something to her, but I didn’t I just tried to pretend nothing had happened. Inside though I was still upset with that lady.
Now how did that happen? I wasn’t as upset with the icy conditions or with myself for not being careful enough. My ire some how became directed towards some poor lady that had nothing to do with it. Thankfully I did nothing to make her aware of my anger.
“Think quickly, speak slowly.” Once words are spoken they can never be taken back, just as you can’t unring a bell.
I have had time to think on it and realize I am sure I provided quite a funny sight, arms and legs flailing in every direction. It likely seemed obvious I wasn’t hurt as I was quickly trying to get up. She couldn’t have known I wacked my head, (head is fine but still have a sore neck). If I was in her position would I have laughed, I don’t think so but who knows. Let’s face it if we see something funny laughing is a natural reaction and maybe try as I might I may have laughed.
I took it personally, she was laughing at me. Given just a little time though I realized she wasn’t laughing at me. She was laughing at the show I was inadvertantly putting on. There is a huge difference between the two. While my initial reaction was negative, I can now say to the Lad, who ever you are, I am glad to have given you a moment of laughter, and I do mean that.
I have to wonder about how many times through my life, I may have complicated a situation or over reacted based on in initial preceived thoughts. How many times have I instantly “known” what is happening and reacted on what I “knew”. Only to later find, geesh, I wish I had just kept my mouth shut. What I thought I “knew” wasn’t the case at all. Can anyone relate to this?