"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Life Lessons, Words Spoken

An old Jewish tale well illustrates the reaction of words spoken. Told in various forms, the gist of the story is as follows.

A man went about town slandering the town’s wise man. Later, the man realized he was wrong and went to the wise man to ask for his forgiveness, offering to do whatever was necessary to make amends.

The wise man had one request:
That the man was told to go and take a feather pillow and cut it open, scattering the feathers to the wind.
Though puzzled by the request, the man did as he was instructed and then returned to the wise man.“Am I now forgiven?” he asked.
“First, go and gather all the feathers,” the man responded.“But how can I? The wind has already scattered them.”
The wise man replied “It is as difficult to repair the damage done by your words as it is to recover the feathers.”

The lesson is clear. Once spoken, words cannot be retrieved, and it maybe impossible to undo the hurt they cause. We are wise to remember that words spoken are, in effect, about to scatter feathers in the wind.


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