My grandmother was a classic New Yorker.
Petite yet powerful she was proof that size
doesn't matter. Always ready to say it like it
is, my childhood was filled with admonitions,
dictum's, and advice uttered in her distinctive
Manhattan "honk." Said now almost long lost
accent required that one drop "r's" - such as
when calling a "doctah". And add them when
sitting on the living room "sofer." However
verbal nuances aside, most of her advice still
rings true. Specifically her guidance related
to sharing written or oral messages. "Keep it
terse (brief) and cherse (choice as in curated)."
Margaretta wasn't solo in her commitment to
laconic communication. Mies van der Rohe
suggested "less is more." Shakespeare wrote
that "brevity is the soul of wit." And most of
our mothers taught us that "if you don't have
anything nice to say, don't say it." However
for many keeping our mouths shut is one of
life's greatest challenges. For reasons beyond
our control we run off at the mouth. Inevitably
saying things that we regret. And subsequently
spend hours spewing in a feeble attempt to
take them back. Now that we live in a world
fueled by social media, it's hard to do just that.
Before and after
Nowadays sharing one's opinion leaves behind
an indelible cyber train of thought. One which
can't easily be erased. Hence never has it been
more important to think before you speak (or
write). Sadly many of us can't help ourselves.
Caught in the moment we put whatever comes
to mind on the record. Allowing instantaneous
emotion to usurp judicious reason. And in said
process making a fool of ourselves - not others.
Therefore rather than look before we leap, we
must stop before it's too late. However limiting
such a Pavlovian reaction is much easier said
than done. Hence the mess we're in.
Wait and see
Whether on the record or not, our words matter.
Too much of either both good or bad thoughts is
more than enough. Therefore it's best to self edit
whenever possible. Circumspection is inevitably
worth the time and effort. The judicious limiting
of one's options leads you to the right decision.
No wonder taking the time to come to a proper
conclusion always pays off. Rather than shoot
blindly - aim before you fire. Instead of going
off - get off of your high horse then talk. Our
generative computation - the ability to consider
all the options - is what separates mankind from
beasts. So why not use it? CHOOSE WISELY!