It doesn’t happen often. But sometimes, when I hear a really good story, it’s not actually good in the traditional sense of the term. Instead, it is one of those stories that makes you think, that challenges you to read beyond the words and find the meaning. To find the morale of the story.
It happened again today when I heard a friend of dad’s tell him about a horrible date he went on last night. I know what you’re thinking and it’s not what you think. This friend got divorced a few years ago, and is the proud parent of a beautiful eight-year-old girl.
As such, he has her artwork and other crafts displayed throughout his house out of respect for the time they spend together. I’m talking everything from tie-dye artwork to play dough dresses for her dolls. These things mean a lot to him, and therefore have a prominent presence in his place even when she is not there with him. Especially when she is not there with him.
Apparently the date distastefully showed disinterest in the artwork, telling dad’s friend he was going overboard. He was overcompensating. But that’s not what he heard. He heard her attacking his parenting skills, and it left him cold.
I can only go from stories I hear mom and dad share, but from what I know this man is a spectacular dad to his daughter. They go on adventures together, play games and make memories doing things like talking with a British accent at Walgreens just for fun. And he loves her bigger than the sky.
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes when I hear a good story the content itself isn’t that great. In these cases it’s the lesson taken from it that brings it to life.
The lesson I take from today’s story is simple. My response to this woman, and others like her, is the communication version of the Golden Rule. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. It’s better that way, especially when what you’re saying isn’t just inaccurate. It is so far from reality, yet that doesn’t make it any bit less painful to the person hearing it. Think before you speak, people. It’s that easy.