|Portrait of a Man by Durer (photo credit:
It was one of my grown children who helped me see the error of my ways. Launching into a story about someone I'll call 'Millie'... relating a tale I'd been told by a friend who'd heard from a co-worker who knew for sure because someone had said ... I was stopped mid-sentence. "Mom," said my son (kindly), "before you say any more, just know that whatever you tell me will make a difference in what I think about 'Millie' from now on."
Feeling chagrined, I fell silent. I was stung by the truth of these words. I could pass along my little bit of gossip, feeling only slightly guilty about doing so, and I would most likely forget it (as it is, I don't remember it now). But every time my son saw or spoke with 'Millie,' he would carry with him an impression left in the wake of my careless action. Even though I cannot, today, recall what I was starting to say, I know it was not something positive.
Oh, I might have tried to be 'nice.' I probably intended to mention that Millie had a few good qualities, bless her heart. But was there a good reason to casually mention her actions to my son? No. I had no reason to share whatever-it-was.
This happened several years ago, and will I sound dramatic when I say it was life changing? Probably. But it was.
Continue reading at Nancy's blog The Breadbox Letters.