The other quickly replied, “I must apologize for my gossiping. So, let me go on record as saying that I take back my words. Are you satisfied now?”
“Well,” the other man replied, “I appreciate the apology, but nevertheless, you can’t really take back words.”
“Nonsense!” the gossiper replied. “I’ve taken back my words, so the problem has been remedied. What else is there to this situation?”
After listening to the discussion, the Rabbi remarked to the gossiper, “Listen, if you want to truly remedy the harm you have caused, then come to the town square tomorrow with a feather pillow.”
The gossiper didn’t know what to make of this but agreed to comply. The next day, he came to the town square with the pillow and handed it to the Rabbi. The Rabbi then instructed him to tear open the pillow and swing the pillow around until all the feathers flew out.
The gossiper once again did not know what to make of this request but did as the Rabbi said.
The Rabbi then said, “OK now, bring back all of the feathers.”
“What!” the gossiper replied. “I surely cannot do that!”
“Well why not?” the Rabbi asked.
“Because,” the man explained, “the feathers have spread all over the place—some have gone in the bushes, and by now some have already flown many yards away. They’ve all scattered about. Even if I spent a month gathering them, there’d still be plenty that I wouldn’t get back.”
The Rabbi heard this and replied, “And just like it is impossible to recover those feathers, it is impossible to take back the words that you spread. In no time at all, they will spread to all sorts of corners far and wide and recovering them would be an insurmountable task.”
The man acknowledged that the Rabbi was right, and from that point on, he took more discretion in his words, and made sure that they did not slander others.
As you can see, the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t gossip about others because it can hurt someone, and you cannot take back words that have already been spoken.
So, this summer, when you gather with your friends & families, what words will you use?
THE FAULTS OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WE WRITE UPON THE SAND,
THEIR VIRTURES UPON THE TABLETS OF LOVE AND MEMORY.
Rick – Lodge Esquire