Tuesday, January 15, 2013

mind what you say!

You 'over-hear' some interesting conversations* in waiting rooms, on buses & trains, standing in queues, etc. Here's a story that serves as a good reminder to be careful what you say about people behind their backs ... even in the privacy of your own home!

'Come here. You know what happened to me? I won't mention names, but this mate of mine asked me to get some gadget for him and he'd fix up with me later.' 
'Fair enough. And did he?'
'He did not. And I've seen him many a time since.'
'So what are you going to do?'
'I did it. I called him up and asked him straight for the money. You should have heard the abuse I got!'
'You're not serious! You mean he actually verbally abused you over the phone because you asked him to pay up?'
'Ah, no. He was all sweetness when we were talking. Said sorry, he'd forgotten, and the next time he saw me for sure.' 
'I don't follow. I thought you said he was abusive?'
'He was. But not 'til he thought I'd hung up.'
'I still don't follow you.'
'He thought I'd ended the call when I hadn't. And before he hung up his phone, he started muttering to himself what a so-and-so I was & the cheek I had asking him for money. But my phone was still on and so was his and I heard it all loud and clear. But he had no idea I could hear him.'

You could tell from his voice that his feelings were actually quite bruised by the experience. There he was, thinking he was doing the other person a favour ... only to discover what that person really thought of him. The third chapter of the letter of St James warns of the damage we can do with our tongues if we don't keep them in check ... well, as this story reminds us, it might be a good idea to never say anything out loud about someone that you wouldn't want them to hear; even if you think there is absolutely no possibility that what you said could possibly get back to them.

*obviously, I've changed details of this to protect the identities of those involved in this conversation - but the core message remains the same!

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