So God, in his infinite wisdom, I know, had a point to everything he created. That being established, I cannot help but admit that if I were to have a conversation with The All Powerful, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from pointing out a few teensy items that I’ve come to call – design flaws, the worst of which involves not knowing when to STOP talking!
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “He who knows does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.” I think that sums things up pretty succinctly. There are way too many people who don’t know what is best and keep on talking anyway. So in that conversation with God, if I were able to make one salient suggestion, I would ask to invoke the right of “mute!” Imagine how many disagreements would be avoided if we were just able to quiet another person before they said something stupid and regrettable! The world would be a happy place indeed.
Let me elaborate. Men, for instance, (yeah, why stall, let’s start with the biggest issue here) need desperately to realize when not to say anything. My husband is amazing, kind and intelligent, but all the attributes in the world haven’t stopped him from saying what shouldn’t have been on his mind in the first place (in my biased opinion). Like the time I was being sensitive about my looks and he said, “Don’t be silly, you could be just like that pretty lady from church.”
“Oh could I? Could I be that pretty?” I mocked.
And then it registered, a blush rising right up to his ears as he realized what he shouldn’t have said.
“Oh that’s not what I meant,” he tried. But of course, as any woman knows, once it’s out, it’s out. And you can’t reel words back in, or trust me … he would have.
Anyone who has been married form more than a month must have realized that while men need the occasional omitted statement, women need whole conversations blipped out. (If only a kiss could keep our mouths busy more often.) There’s an unknown quote I like that says, “If you think I talk too much, let me know. We can talk about it.” I do talk too much. I know it, my friends know it, my husband certainly knows it … but, in the words of Lady Gaga, “Baby, I was born this way.” In complete honesty, I’d like to mute myself sometimes. It isn’t my thoughts or opinions that get me into fixes, it’s my mouth. Because for some ungodly reason (Another creation design flaw perhaps?) I am regrettably, passionately attracted to “the last word.” And so … I usually get it.
Kids are another REALM of, “Wow you shouldn’t have said that.” I literally have quote books for my kids and students of all the things they say, or shouldn’t say. My personal favorites are all of the things they say when they don’t know you’re right there, or they know you’re there but think thirty-two is too old to hear what they’re saying. I won’t get into what I hear 8th graders say … I like to keep my blog PG13 at the very worst, and some of these kids are fourteen now, so you don’t even want to know.
The point is, God made us with an essential design flaw. We have no mute. We were supposed to have been born with a mute; I’m certain of it! I really, whole-heartedly believe wars wouldn’t have been fought if we could’ve invoked the right of mute at the right time! But then, there’s that free will thing (another potential design flaw in my opinion). I guess that seductive last word is still busy ruining conversations all over the place. Why can’t we just resist it!?!
So what about you? I’d love to hear some comments of the best-worst things someone has ever said when they should have been muted. I hope to spark some great conversation on what shouldn’t be said … is that a paradox?!?
My recent favorite is a conversation between my kids:
Daughter: “Mommy, I think you’re always nice.”
Son: “No. She’s not always nice.”
Me: “Wow. Thank you for clearing that up buddy.”
Son: “Well …”
Me: “Let’s be done talking.”
Son: “Good idea.”
So, now you know. A comment too many and it’s out … I’m not always nice. Finally a conversation I don’t want to talk about! Ha, ha.