Today Aub and I took a trip down memory lane. After dinner we found ourselves together in the living room, and we decided to watch an old episode of “That’s So Raven.”
For those of you who might not know the show, Raven Symone plays a teenage girl who is a psychic, and it’s all about her figuring out how to live with her “gift.” It is a comedy, and her facial expressions remind me of Lucille Ball’s ability to get a laugh with a simple twist of her face.
On the episode we watched today, Raven had a “psychic cold,” which allowed her, for a short period of time, to hear other people’s thoughts. It created quite a mess, which is typical of the show. I laughed and cringed when her parents figured out what was going on and asked her, “How much did you ‘hear?'”
“Too much,” she replied, with an exaggerated look of horror on her face.
But there was a part of me that wasn’t amused.
What if people could hear my thoughts?
Oh me. Just pack me up and set me out to live in the middle of the woods. I couldn’t take the pressure, quite honestly.
Because we are free, you and I, to think what we want to think. That’s the great thing about thoughts. They are in our heads. No one can hear them. They are private.
Which is very, very good.
However, lately I’ve noticed some folks must not find comfort in the fact that their thoughts are their own and private, because they seem to be sharing anything and everything that comes to mind.
Whether it hurts other people or not.
Y’all, we gotta stop that mess.
Mama often said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Clairee from “Steel Magnolias” said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.”
There has to be a balance between the two. My Mama was not one to be run over or let anyone harm anyone else on her watch, but she was one who guarded her tongue and made every effort to be tactful. And considerate. The one thing that could get us in trouble worse than anything was to hurt someone’s feelings with unkind words or to leave somebody out.
This is a small world, folks. We have to live here together. All of us, including me, need to keep that in mind. We are free to think whatever we want about people, places, and things, but we need to be sure that our words do not leave our mouths until we have weighed all of the possible consequences of our sharing them.
Yeah, sure, I get it. “Heat of the moment” and all that. I’m a parent. I know about those moments. But the heat of the moment can cause a lot of messes. And bottom line–it’s no excuse.
Just because a thought goes through our head, it does not necessarily mean that we need to speak it into existence for everyone else to hear.
Another thing my parents said, “If you know better, do better, and folks will like you better.”
We know better than to be spewing some of the things that are coming out of our private thoughts–out loud and on the computer screen. (Social media, I’m looking at you.)
We. Know. Better.
Here’s to a day of lifting others up with our words and keeping those other kind of thoughts to ourselves.
Love to all.