I'm thinking very seriously of going out and spending a large sum of money on duct tape. Yeah, you know, the stuff that comes in huge rolls and can be used to patch up just about anything. Of course, several rolls would be for my own personal use, but I'm thinking of giving certain other folks in my life a roll as well. Not to use for some new home project, or even to create one of those funky duct tape wallets you see hanging out of teenagers' pockets. Here's the thing... Sometimes our mouth gets us in alot of trouble. Who can honestly say they've never wanted to take back words spoken in anger, frustration, or sheer stupidity? If only we could stop ourselves from saying dumb things in the first place, we wouldn't have to "eat crow" later. Hence, the duct tape.
It seems we all have a tendency to speak out at times before considering the consequences, without thinking about how foolish we look when we do that. Reflecting on this very topic, Mark Twain once said "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt." If such a thing were available in his day, I bet I'd see him in line at the hardware store, purchasing rolls of duct tape to have on hand should someone need them. I don't know about you, but I like to think of myself as an intelligent person. My words belie me, however, when they are not well thought out and are spoken impulsively. I have to heed Mr. Twain's advice then and keep silent at the risk of appearing to not have all the answers -- which I don't anyway! I'm not sure what it is that causes us to think that we are "right", that people should listen to us, or that somehow our opinion is the most fascinating thing since language began. The truth is... listening is what helps us understand others better and makes our loved ones feel that we really do value them.
So get out the duct tape and apply it daily. It's a lot less expensive and painful to put a guard on our lips than it is to do damage control later. Everyone will be grateful, and you won't have to backpedal to make up for any insensitive and useless comments. Smile wisely, and keep your mouth shut!
If you keep your mouth shut, the flies won't get in. -- Spanish Proverb