Friday, December 30, 2016

Snake's Tongue

Our hotel room in Dublin, Ireland has a sansevieria plant on a table near the window. Commonly called snake tongue, this plant is undemanding and very easy to keep alive.

In these days, when hateful speech so easily flies off the tongues of those around us and various media personalities, it's good to remember to keep our own tongues in check with Wise Speech. Using our tongues and our words skillfully is not an easy assignment.

In the days after the election, i decided to listen, really listen to someone who voted differently than i did. She went on a 30-minute rant, while my sweetie and i kept our mouths shut. I had asked for a different point of view, and i got it! I could feel in my body, how good the rant was feeling to her in the moment--very fizzy and charged with adrenalin.

After she left for an appointment, i told my sweetie, "That hatred felt great in the moment, but she's going to feel ashamed of herself for the rest of the day." Sure enough, when we saw her that evening, she tried to make amends, which we graciously accepted. "You have one news source," my husband said, "and we have other news sources."

In the days ahead, we are going to be called on to speak truthfully, straight-forwardly, and kindly. That's a difficult recipe to follow.
But when anger and hatred is so easy to grow and so seductive, it's time for us to put our nerves between our teeth, and hold our own sharp snake-like tongue.

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