A short story with an excellent reminder to always speak of others with kindness, or to say nothing at all. Unkind words or gossip have the potential to steal another person’s dignity, honour, reputation and credibility which are impossible to restore. Important to remember, when our feet slip, we can always recover your balance,but when our tongues slip, we cannot recover our words.
Once upon a time, an old man spread rumours that his neigbour was a thief. As a result, the young man was arrested. Days later the young man was proven innocent. After being released, he sued the old man for wrongly accusing him.
In court the old man told the Judge, “They were just comments, didn’t harm anyone.”
The Judge, before passing sentence on the case, told the old man, “Write all the things you said about your neight on a piece of paper. Cut the paper into pieces, and scatter the papers on your way home. Tomorrow, come back to hear your sentence.”
The next day, the Judge told the old man, “Before receiving your sentence, you will have to go out and gather all the pieces of paper that you scattered yesterday.”
The old man said, “I can’t do that! The wind spead the papers and I won’t know where to find them.”
The judge then replied, “The same way simple comments may destroy the honour of a person to such an extent that one is not able to fix it. If you can’t speak well of someone, then don’t say anything. Let’s all be masters of our mouths, so that we won’t be slaves of our words.”