Thinking before acting is wisdom, but acting before thinking is regret. — Terry Mark
Imagine your horror.
You find the perfect greeting card to send. It’s cute, it’s clever, and it’s perfect. Using your best penmanship you excitedly compose your message, address the envelope, pick out a decorative stamp to match the occasion, and with great confidence, you bound down the street and thrust the envelope into the nearest mailbox.
Then it hits you. Your recipient may take the message on the card all wrong and though your intentions were all good, you now stand a greater chance of hurting the feelings of someone you wouldn’t hurt for the world.
Worse still, you’ll have to wait several days before you can even attempt to smooth things over.
If only you’d thought it through more carefully.
This is exactly what almost happened to my Mom and Dad some years ago, and their experience underscores the need to think before you act.
My parents were the best of friends with a couple who couldn’t have been nicer folks to know. Two really fun characters. He was long and lanky. She was curvy and voluptuous. Unfortunately, she didn’t appreciate her fetching looks, and always felt extremely self-conscious about her weight. She was the only one in the foursome that was concerned about her weight. Everyone else loved her just as she was, for who she was.
The foursome visited one another’s homes often for weekends or short vacations but on one particular occasion, only the gentleman could make the trip because the lady had work commitments.
Everyone had a good time but my parents missed the lady’s presence. She was just that special. So my parents decided to send a card to let her know how much they missed her.
They wanted something fun, bright, and whimsical. They found just the right card. It featured Kermit the Frog on the front of the card waving his little stick arm in greeting, and in green sparkling letters the card read, “Hey There, Sure Enjoyed Our Visit, But Next Time, Bring Your Costar!”
My parents were thrilled with the card. It was just what they wanted to say. Back home, Mom and Dad were still grooving (people ‘grooved’ back then) over their amazing find, and my Dad sat right down to write a little something extra in the card and address the envelope. My Mom went to get the perfect stamp to compliment the green color of the envelope.
The next thing my Dad knew, my Mom was standing over him with the most horrified look on her face. He asked her what was wrong. She said, “Think about it.” He looked back at her puzzled. “Think about it,” she demanded. He was still perplexed. “Who’s Kermit’s costar?” Mom insisted. “OH NO-O-O-O!” my Dad replied after a long pause.
Oh yeah, Kermit’s costar is none other than Miss Piggy! Just the thing you want to send to a gal, shall we say, ‘with issues.’
Mercifully, Mom and Dad were spared the agony of accidentally hurting someone who was quite sensitive, but only because my Mom did the one thing we should all remember to do, THINK!
Thinking before acting really can help us avoid regret. Or, at the very least, it helps us cut way back on our missteps.
Please leave your thoughts on avoiding regret in the Comments section below.
In the meantime,