Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

No Backspace Button October 20, 2013

I stick my foot in my mouth all the time. Literally. It’s part of my daily grooming routine. A nibble here and there is as second nature to me as scratching an itchy ear with my foot or licking a sore paw. But I’m no dummy.

Keyboard of LifeI know the same can not be said of people, who have the luxury of hands to do a lot of these types of things. Also, I think it would be pretty challenging (albeit funny) to see them try. Literally. I think it would be a struggle.

And yet it apparently happens all the time. Figuratively. As a professional people watcher, I have picked a few things up over the years and this is one of the most interesting to me. People say really stupid things. Whether its something they don’t really mean said in an argument or a random comment out of the blue, it happens all the time. And for as often that I wish I could speak, I glory in my silence when I happen to overhear these moments of ignorance.

That’s just it. Ignorance. And let me tell you, from what I’ve seen of it, ignorance is not bliss. Nor does it excuse the behavior of saying things you don’t mean. I think that’s the challenging part. More often than not, regret follows this note of ignorance. But the moment has passed and the words were said and they cannot be taken back. Words are powerful tools, and when they get used as weapons context gives way to emotion. It makes for a very messy situation.

It brings to mind the wise words of Audrey Hepburn who suggested that “for beautiful eyes, look for the good in others. For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness. And for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

I’ve thought about it and now it’s time to speak up. I might look silly nibbling on my back paw from time to time, but it turns out people do it all the time too. And it hurts. But it isn’t the end of the world either. It happens. A lot. And while that doesn’t excuse anything, it does make us very familiar with the practice of moving on. I’ve always said everything is worthwhile if a lesson is learned. Well, in this case I think the lesson is crystal clear. Think before you speak. Because you can’t take it back. There is no backspace button on the keyboard of life.


27 Responses to “No Backspace Button”

  1. I totally agree. I think that forms of communication like text messaging and social media make these situations more prevalent. I try to remind myself that once my typing is placed on the internet, it is permanent.

  2. Hadassa Says:

    Reblogged this on hadassaab.

  3. […] No Backspace Button | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  4. writetowag Says:

    That quote from Audrey Hepburn is beautiful…thank you for sharing that!!!!

  5. […] No Backspace Button | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  6. I think your quote is even better than Audrey’s! “There is no backspace button on the keyboard of life.” ~Wiley Schmidt~

    Love and licks,

  7. That’s what my mom always says: think first and think to the end with all consequences, before you speak (or bark) :o)

  8. ScottieMom Says:

    Love the photo of you at the computer. Too cute! Much love, The Scottie Mom.

  9. huntmode Says:

    Wyles, this is so true – words can be weapons – just think how often we retrace a painful memory – like a sore tooth, our tongue reaches out and touches it time and again. The likelihood of anyone ever, ever meaning to leave that big a tear in someone or a hole or a scratch is so rare and yet, it is done each and every 1,440 minutes in a day. I found that as I grew more “spiritual,” the karma thing kicked in big time – if I criticized someone – first, it was weeks before I caught myself doing exactly what I had criticized someone for; then it was days, nowadays, it’s just about under an hour before I do it, too. Teaches you pretty quick how to make an apology. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Dear HuntMode,
      You make a good point about something pretty important I left out of the story. Apologies are incredibly valuable, as is true and sincere forgiveness. It is devastating to me that so many people get hurt unnecessarily, and at the same time the door opens for forgiveness. Way to find the silver lining! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Lots of love,

  10. […] No Backspace Button | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  11. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    Have you ever wanted to push the backspace button in a conversation?

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