Wednesday, January 25, 2012

There Was Once a Wise Sage

There once was a wise sage who wandered the countryside. One day, as he passed near a village, he was approached by a woman who saw he was a sage and told him of a sick child nearby. She beseeched him to help this child. The sage came  to the village, and a crowd gathered around him, for such a man was a rare sight. One woman brought the sick child to him, and he said a prayer over her.

"Do you really think your prayer will help her, when medicine has failed?" yelled a man from the crowd.

"You know nothing of such things! You are a stupid fool!" said the sage to the man.

The man became very angry with these words and his face grew hot and red. He was about to say something, or perhaps strike out, when the sage walked over to him and said: "If one word has such power as to make you so angry and hot, may not another have the power to heal?"

And thus, the sage healed two people that day.


I have a couple co-workers who have really nasty dispositions. Sometimes I even wonder if they even realize how they come across to others. I find it hard to believe that someone could be so deliberately hurtful.  They've said things to me, just as they have everyone else.  Most of the time I let it go.  I know it comes from their own inner securities, and besides, two wrongs don't make a right.  But sometimes, though, it is impossible to keep your peace.

When we first moved to our new offices, we had the greatest maintenance worker.  She'd been a graduate of our program who had gone on to complete an internship and was eventually hired by the company.  She did a great job of keeping the place clean, but management decided that she was a bit too close to all of us so they moved her to another floor.  Since that time, it has been 'hit and miss' in the cleaning department there.

The other day a new girl was assigned to our floor.  Well, she is not exactly new, but this is her first time working our floor.  I'd seen her around the building before but we'd never really spoke, so when I saw her, I called her over and introduced myself and started a little conversation to make her feel comfortable.  It was then that my office mate stopped playing her GAME, which she plays every day, all day, when not on personal calls,  and turned around and said in a very 'nasty' tone, "You people don't do any work around here."  You people????  How dare she?  And I told her so.  When she quipped a nasty remark my way, I responded with, "People who live in glass houses should never throw stones."  She didn't get it.

If you could have seen the hurt look on the girl's face.  All she said was, "Wow, that's a low blow" and walked away.  Several times I've tried to engage the girl, but now, it is like she has the impression that we all think we are 'better than' because we have office jobs and walks away.  Perhaps in time the girl's pain will heal.   

When people say cruel things to us, it hurts.   I know this from experience.  During my childhood, I was pretty much beaten down by words, from both my parents and my peers.  And, verbal abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse.  As I always told my clients in my domestic violence group...bruises will go away.   Despite the claim of the old nursery rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me" names DO hurt and DO inflict injuries that last a lifetime. 

When we sincerely praise someone else, we encourage them and careless words spoken in anger, thoughtlessness or because someone hurt you are sharp daggers that can penetrate through the heart. Words can be used for good, and used for evil, so what are you going to do with your words. We must always remember that, when we speak, we either make someones day or we ruin it. Our words can hurt or our words can heal. It is up to us how we use them.

Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect.
We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.

U. Thant


  1. AMEN!
    Good for YOU and shame on HER!
    Some people will NEVER GET IT. :0(

  2. I'm very sensitive to words(i think too sensitive) unfortunately we encounter people like your coworkers all the time. I'm sorry the Girl feels this way now :(

  3. I'm sorry you work with such poison. In my circle, a woman like that is know as The Goddess of Discord. A woman who is in our lives to teach us lessons about ourselves in a very personal and challenging way. Basically, a bitch on wheels whom we have to learn to deal with in a most productive way. I feel like when I come across these poison filled people that when I address their statement with a question it will more often than not throw them off. In the circumstance you mention about "you people never work", (I have a hot head so it's hard for me sometimes not to snip back) maybe a reply of "why do you say those words "you people"? Aren't we all just people?" I use this tactic when dealing with bigots, racist and homophobes all the time. If nothing else, it plants a seed.

  4. Ah Mary...we know this one don't we?

    Sorry you had to be the recipient of such vitrol...I'm glad you stood up for yourself and your new girl...I pray that at some future moment time will allow you to speak to the girl in private so that she knows you are not that way.

    Blessings Dear Heart!

  5. I know your gentle ways will be seen to the girl you speak of. There will always be those who have harsh tongues and little minds. I have had moments when I too have had to speak out yet like you I find that too many times they do not even get the point you may have been trying to make. I have also learned that although it is difficult that these harsh people need goodness too. Yet like I said in the beginning, I know your gentle ways and your caring heart, and I know that they are both things that can not go unnoticed.

  6. is you who always bring such wise reminders to our day...i am sorry you had to deal with such...your response was good though and i am sure she did not understand what you who sits and plays all day...i am sure there is some sort of guilt festering and that is where the negativity comes from you...i try hard to remeber to be positive in my day to day as i know how hurtful one little words can be...thank you for sharing and wishing you a much more peaceful day ahead...much love light and blessings~

  7. Good morning Mary....This was such a wonderful post.....The Eightfold Path in Buddhism includes Right Speech as the third precept.....Such an important one!