Luckily, I heard the words in my head before they made it out of my mouth, blocking them at the very last moment – like a “No-You-Don’t!” Ninja.
This is what I almost said to an acquaintance: “‘Course it’s her own fault. Can’t drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney and think you’ll dodge the bullet forever!”
A dear friend was sick in the hospital and I was concerned about her, so of course, I tore her down in my own mind and nearly engaged in a form of germ warfare. Because, truthfully, such words are toxic, even infectious.
It may well be that we judge others to deflect the spotlight from our own unchecked boxes.
◘ Never finished that college degree
◘ Never got that promotion
◘ Never found that soul mate
Perhaps we feel so small in a vast universe that we subconsciously seek to squash others – like bugs on the sidewalk in our way, when we could easily step around them – that we steamroller over their humanity, their beauty, their divinity, and focus solely on the things they failed to do.
We do the math in our heads and assume that we can subtract from others while adding to ourselves. It really doesn’t work that way. It detracts from us both. From us all.
If I were to say anything, it should be something like this.
You’ve been through so much in your life, and I’ve long admired your determination. You’ve watched out for me like family from the minute I moved into the neighborhood. If there’s anything I can do to encourage you to take steps to improve your health so I can have you around as a friend for many years to come, I’ll be here for you.
There’s only one surefire way to safeguard your soul and clear the air pollution of thoughtless comments: put a spiritual Ad-Blocker on your words.