Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • October-November 2023 • Circulation 5000


Think Before You Speak

“Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, and is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.” Bernard Meltzer

The above quote is a mantra/life lesson my sister Yvette started saying to me at a young age.

I interpreted it as before passing judgment or saying something, think about how it will affect another person – not just the one who hears it, but how a large group will interpret it.

This really came to light when I suffered my setback. I could not believe some of the things I heard and some of the things I felt from what others said.

As human beings a lot of us have the gift to speak. Look at how that can impact others. Through my rehabilitation and effects of my setback I lost the ability to speak and had to relearn how to talk. Yes, I could think, but could not verbalize. My condition medically is called “ataxic dysarthria” (a tongue twister for someone with challenged verbal skills to say, I often joked). When researching to get back in the workforce I was told by a support agency worker to get a job where I don’t speak.

The name of the agency is irrelevant. The feeling I had was intense. I heard the words of my sister and thought of that quote and pursued other endeavours. Rather than waste my time on anger, I moved forward with the lesson Yvette bestowed on me: choose words wisely in any situation as you never know how they can make others feel.

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