Last weekend, I decided to clean up our little beach. The weeds and cattails were obstructing our view and making it hard to get our paddle boat in the water. I knew I didn’t have all of the equipment so I went next-door and borrowed by neighbor John’s hip waders. It’s a mucky task that requires going into the murky water and pulling hard on the roots of the plants.
I was happily pulling on my water weeds when John and my husband came over to see what I was doing.
“Watch out for the water muskrats,” John advised.
“Isn’t there water snakes in the lake?” Gerry, my husband asked.
I started to scream and quickly got out of the lake. John and Gerry were laughing so hard that they didn’t notice that I took them seriously. It wasn’t until Gerry told me to be careful about the alligators that I realized they were teasing.
Reflecting back on my day of clean up, I realized there is always some truth in teasing. Water muskrats, as well as river rats, do live in our lake. However, the likely hood of having an altercation with them is extremely slim.
How many times, have we told a friend or a loved one something scary or demeaning only to quickly end it with, “I’m just kidding.” Things like, “If you eat one more donut, you will look start to look like one. Or, “quick close your window before the all of the bats can get in.”
My point is there always some truth in what people tell us. We need to be mindful how are our words even in jest can affect someone. Maybe it’s time to turn those unflattering comments into something positive.
“Don’t worry honey, I’ll warn you when the alligator gets near.”
Words have an immeasurable impact, they can either build or destroy so be careful of your words.”
― Gift Gugu Mona