Too many words (Day 10, Proverbs)

Proverbs 10:19
“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”

The summer of my freshmen year in college I worked as a typist on Redstone Arsenal, along with other girls my age. We played corporate dress-up every day and answered phones in professional voices and addressed men twice our age by their first names. All new things.

I met Debbie that summer. Debbie was a new thing, too. When Debbie talked, she was a babbling brook like none other I had met. She was so bubbly and overflowing that I was compelled to stop and listen whenever she spoke.

When I compared myself to her, I felt rather, well, boring. I was quiet, task-oriented, and a listener, not a talker. I got along well with Debbie, but I never felt quite comfortable, and I never quite knew why.

Looking back, I think what I didn’t understand then was that people who talk all the time have their own brand of struggles.

In the midst of their talking they sometimes wonder if they’ve said too much. They sometimes think they’ve said something the wrong way. And they sometimes question if people have stopped listening before they’ve stopped talking.

Sometimes, yes.

Debbie didn't always choose her words carefully. An overflowing waterfall has little time to consider which droplet should go over the edge next.

Too many words. They get us in trouble. Parcel them out carefully.

Perhaps I’ve said too much already.

2 comments:

Lisa notes... said...

Today I ran across this lovely little anecdote in "Firstlight" that fits here nicely:

"Albert Einstein was not only a scientific genius, a Nobel Prize winner, and the father of the theory of relativity--he was also a man of great simplicity. One evening at a dinner party given in his honor by the president of Swarthmore College, Einstein was called upon for a speech.

He greeted the guests politely, then paused for a moment. 'Ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry but I have nothing to say.' As he sat down, he added, 'In case I do have something to say, I'll come back.'

Six months went by and one day Einstein wired the president of the college, announcing, 'Now I have something to say.' Another dinner was arranged and Einstein made his speech.

I love that story. It reminds me that when I speak without forethought or restraint just to fill up silent spaces, I am only littering the air."


author: Sue Monk Kidd

Karen said...

I swear, I know sometimes I talk too much. My middle name should have been Brooke.

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