As kids we were always receive an advice to look both ways before crossing the road. This advice will keep us from accidents even now that we're adults.
But that advice does not pertain only to crossing roads. There are other avenues that we have to look both ways before crossing. These avenues could be situations most particularly criticisms. Often we speak hurtful words against somebody that we would later regret. If we followed that advice, it would have saved us the trouble of hurting someone and hurting ourselves in the process.
If we keep this advice in mind always, I'm sure it will save us in many troubles. And looking both ways sometimes has humor. This was a story I heard years ago and it always brings a smile to my lips every time I recall it.
There was an event in one organization where they invited a guest speaker. It was in the lowlands and the weather was hot but they have no air conditioner, just an electric fan. The Guest speaker was sweating all over. One attendant saw this and went to increase the power of the fan. Another attendant saw this and discreetly he went to switch off the fan. When the first attendant noticed the turned off fan, he went again to switch it on in full power and kept watch on who's switching the power off.
When he saw the other attendant switched it off anew, he angrily confronted him. The second attendant explained that he switched it off for a reason. The Guest speaker is bald and sensitive about it and he was wearing a wig. His blown wig would be more embarrassing than his sweating.
In some instances, not looking both ways might hurt us more than the ones we criticized. Sometimes it will be too late to repair our undoing.
There was this one congregation visited by a traveling minister with his wife. A long week activity was scheduled for their visit. They would visit every member for encouragement. They would also go around for community work. Everyday, the visiting minister would be there leading them, even to the far-flung part of the community. But the wife is nowhere to be found. She was scheduled partners and groups to lead but she did not joined in the community services so the group had to be given a new leader.
On their last day, the Congregation prepared a feast for the minister. There came the wife. And so the congregation started a gossip about her saying she wants to be in a party but not in the community work. She's only concerned about the feast and that's the only reason she was there.
Their whining reached the minister's wife but she said nothing for it was how it happened. So they left the place, and she was deeply saddened for instead of building them up, she became their stumbling block.
After a few weeks, the Minister’s wife died. It was a shock to the Congregation when they found out. So inquiries were posed. It turned out that she was sick during their visit and that’s the reason why she wasn’t able to join them in their grueling community work.
Still some commented on the reason she was on the last day party. The thought of going to a party gave her the strength but not the community work. If she can come to a party, she can join the other lighter activities as well. She showed up doesn’t looking sick.
The answer came too late to them for the minister was the one who was hurt the most when their comments reached his ears. His wife knew that she won’t last any longer so even though she was in great pain, she did her best to see the congregation for the last time. And she tried her best to look ok so that she won’t concern them on anything. As good as her intention to be with them for the last time was as bad as their regrets when they look at her in the coffin with their bleeding hearts. They may cry all their hearts out but the damages are done and too late to be repaired. The price of not looking both ways before criticizing.
If only we always have the patience to wait to see the other side of the coin before we open our mouths. What a beautiful world that would be.