Monday, January 3, 2011

Boomerang. Ouch.

I will never forget the day I met our new neighbors. The Georges. They were the coolest family in the whole world. THE WHOLE WORLD! Their oldest daughter and I became fast friends, even though she was a bit older than I was, we rode bikes together through out the neighborhood, babysat together, and shared deep personal conversations about the important things in life, like shaving our legs, and how dashing her little brother (who was actually my age) looked in his boyscout uniform. (I thought he was dashing, she not so much). Mrs. George was a leader for me in my church youth group and she was my favorite. Not only did she genuinely love all the girls she taught, I was convinced she would be be my mother in law someday. Twelve year old girls are often prophetic like this. So, her opinion of me mattered. A lot.

One day the "brilliant idea" light went off in my adolescent mind. (That is never a good sign) and I decided to start a news letter to distribute to all of my friends. I gave it some goofy title like "Blah" and proceeded to write out my observations of the world in full detail according to my philosophical tween view. It wasn't pretty. It was, to say the least embarrassing. It was chock full of what little girls say about other girls when they are insecure and unsure about their own identities. Gossip. Yes. Not only was I participating in gossip, I was doing it in writing. In a NEWSLETTER for goodness sake! Which I very purposefully circulated among friends!

I'm sure you have already guessed, this ends badly. Mrs. George found my newsletter. And soon my gossip boomeranged right back into my face. I was crushed when I discovered my mother had learned of my literary expounds, from the one woman I truly wanted to impress. I don't remember a lot about the following conversation. Memories are often blocked when all you can hear is your heart pounding in your ears. However, I do remember being told that this behavior was not me. That I was above gossip. And that it needed to stop.

A word flew
out my mouth
I couldn't get it back
despite my reach
or racing feet
the word
was out of grasp

On lofty wings
it flew
with power, force
and speed
but left its shadow
deep inside of me

I've lost it now,
it's gone.
Where it landed,
I don't know
but carelessly
I tossed it
I recklessly
let go

Oh, be mindful
of the words
you toss,
Take care
for what you say,
with wings of might
will fast take flight
and land,
too far away.

You have the power to take this God given voice of yours and use it to sing songs to your children, praise and adore your husband, and encourage and uplift your friends and family. You can join in the happiness and success of others and take part in the blessing of their joy. Or you can criticize, judge,gossip and complain. Either way, you send your words off into the world and whether or not you see them again they can never be taken back. Your words may or may not reach the ears of a person you speak of, but the gossip will echo within your ears and heart-it will effect your character. In this way words always come back to you, just like my silly newsletter did. But they will never come back the way they were sent off. They will leave your mouth and find a person to hurt, or help. Sometimes, the only person they find is you.
May you have the strength of character to be kind, in all you say.
This is my wish for you, my fellow divas.


PS-I did not marry the boy in a scout uniform, rather a man in a Navy uniform. But Mrs. George is still one of my favorite people on earth. And her opinion of me matters. A lot.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha. I remember the amazing Newsletter phase. It was when we discovered Publisher 98! Wow. We are quickly becoming ancient.


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