The other day I posted about a fairly rude comment tossed at Josh while he was working his part time job last week. I do feel like it is completely outlandish to scoff at someone because of their job whatever that job or its perceived education requirement may be. You don't know their history, you don't know their situation, you have no idea of their choices or motivation or who knows what else. Most people are good people doing their very best with whatever life has handed to them and there is no need to judge them as lesser or lazier or un-intelligenter (I know, I know, not a word) than they "should" be or "could" be. Sometimes it is just better to keep your tongue tucked in.
That said, as I have been thinking about this incident I have been reminded of some times in MY life when I have made ridiculous, cutting comments and have wounded people's feelings.
Like everyone on the planet, I am far from immune to having absurd sometimes hurtful remarks slip out of my mind and over my lips. It's true the scripture from James that says, "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth." Yup, little member capable of big fire. That sounds about right.
I remember a time years ago when I was chatting with a cute lady whom I love. We were both in our early 20's and in the process of growing our families. She had recently been working very hard over a matter of several month and had lost quite a bit of the weight gained during her last pregnancy. She was telling me about some of the things she had done to change her diet and to exercise and stuff like that.
As we continued to chat, she mentioned to me that she and her husband had just found out they were pregnant again. My stupid first comment was something like, "Oh man, and you just lost all that weight!"
I could have slapped myself the moment those words vomited from my mouth. I felt terrible and was horribly embarrassed. I tried to back pedal, but you know how well that goes. I really hurt her feelings and made her feel like weight loss was of greater importance than a baby on the way. Stupid. Thoughtless. I still cringe when I remember that unthinking, offensive moment.
I could share more and more and more of these things . I think most of us could probably think of a few such moments at least from our own lives. I may even have hurt your feelings at some point (and I am very truly sorry if that is the case).
We all say dumb stuff from time to time and (hopefully) we are all embarrassed when we say such things.
Also, hopefully we can be forgiving and kind when someone says something to us that is a little more derogatory than they meant. Taking offense where none is intended is not a pretty trait either. That does not mean that rude comments or inconsiderate remarks do not sting and pain our souls because they do, but when the sting was the result of thoughtlessness rather than just plain meanness hopefully we can choose to overlook it and (in time) let it go rather than keeping it in our pocket for regular inspection and review.
Which brings me back to Josh and his perfect response to a lady who was less than kind.
Possibly, this lady who demeaned Josh and his intelligence was the victim of just such a moment. Possibly she is at home kicking herself and wishing she had never said such a thing. Possibly the words she said weren't meant to come out the way they did and just got garbled in the process of speaking. Who knows. (Or maybe she is a snide meany pants, we will never be sure.)
However, I am grateful for the people who have given me the chance to repair damage I have unintentionally done with my tongue and I sincerely hope to do the same for other people.
And I guess that means a healthy dose of my own medicine at the moment.
I guess I should start my quest with the lady from Josh's work event.
Seems like a pretty good plan.