Most of us will admit, we grew up hearing that statement. If it didn’t come from our mothers it came from some other well meaning soul that wanted to help us along our way.

As we munched on our nachos, I spent the entire time debriefing my Friday. She sat across from me quietly listening, nodding, encouraging. It wasn’t until we decided to walk a bit of the mall and found a resting place that the hurt began to show in her day. In time, it was her turn to spill. As she shared a particular incident, all I could think of was, “Why do people have a need to be ‘mean’?”

Sometimes, it’s not even the saying of anything that hurts –it can be simply the actions. More times than not, I can remember where someone didn’t have to say a word. They were just “rude” or cruel in their behavior. I think you follow me on this one.

I was assisting a friend with a project awhile back. There were some other folks involved and for some reason, they just didn’t seem to like my presence. Rather than explain what the problem was, they decided to just, oddly enough, be rude. It wasn’t the words they chose necessarily as it was the tone, or their body language when they said it.

It’s amazing how people can say something like “Pass the stapler” and make it sound like you just cut them off in traffic, they have to be at their destination in five minutes-and they are still 20 minutes away. It never ceases to amaze me when people in that frame of mind take out their anger on the person in their space and make them feel it is their fault. Strange.

And too, sometimes people seem to have the need to let you know that the color or style of the shirt that you’re wearing, “Just isn’t workin’ for ya today.” Or, that perhaps you might want to rethink that “idea” you had. For whatever reason, they need to let you know, in some way, that you are a bit less, or inferior to them. The thrill of the “jab”, I call it.

I don’t know how their treatment of you and me in those situations makes them feel better, but alas, I guess it does. Someone hurt them, they are still wincing from the pain, and they will make someone pay. And today, that someone will be you-or me.

With that, regardless of the odd-bird whozits or whatzits in your life today, remember this old saying too: misery loves company.

So, don’t keep company with the miserable. Leave them alone. Let them go their way. And as for you and me, my friend, if we can’t say something nice back, let’s just not say anything at all.

Just my thoughts.


Prov. 15:1