Choose Your Words Well
A certain good, caring, loving young woman one day said
something that hurt her best friend of many years.
She regretted it immediately and would have done
anything to have taken the words back. But they
were said impulsively in a moment of thoughtlessness,
and as close as she and her friend were, she didn't
consider the effects of her words before hand.
What she said hurt the friend so much that this good
woman was herself hurt for the pain she caused. In
her effort to undo what she had done, she went to an
older, wiser woman in the village, explained her
situation, and asked for advice.
The older woman listened patiently in an effort to
determine just how sincere the younger woman was, how
far she was willing to go to correct the situation.
She explained that sometimes, in order to put things
back in order, great efforts must be made.
She then asked, "Just what would you be willing to do to
repair the harm done?" The answer was heartfelt.
Listening to her, the older woman sensed the younger
woman's distress and knew she must help her. She
also knew she could never alleviate her pain by living
her life for her, but she could teach, if the younger
woman would first listen and then learn.
She knew the outcome would depend solely on the
character of the younger woman. She said, "There
are two things you need to do to make amends. The
first of the two is extremely difficult.
Tonight, take your best feather pillows and open a small
hole in each one. Then, before the sun rises, you
must put a single feather on the doorstep of each house
When you are through, come back to me. If you've
done the first thing completely, I'll tell you the
The young woman hurried home to prepare for her chore,
even though the pillows were very dear to her and very
All night long, she labored alone in the cold. She
went from doorstep to doorstep, taking care not to
overlook a single house. Her fingers were frozen,
the wind was so sharp it caused her eyes to water, but
she ran on through the darkened streets, thankful there
was something she could do to put things back the way
they once were.
Finally as the sky was getting light, she placed the
feather on the steps of the last house. Just as
the sun rose, she returned to the older woman. She was
exhausted but relieved that her efforts would be
"My pillows are empty. I placed a feather on the
doorstep of each home."
the wise woman, "Go back and refill your pillows.
Then everything will be as it was before."
The young woman was stunned. "You know that's
impossible! The wind blew away each feather as fast as I
placed them on the doorsteps! You didn't say I had
to get them back! If this is the second
requirement, then things will never be the same."
"That's true," said the older woman. "Never
forget. Each of your words is like a feather in
the wind. Once spoken, no amount of effort,
regardless how heartfelt or sincere, can ever return
them to your mouth.
Choose your words well and guard
them most of all in the presence of those you love."
internet, Thanks Luanne
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