”I walked into the store stressed and pressured. As that I’m newly engaged, this errand was one of too many which were overwhelming my schedule. After waiting for a while, I finally got the help I needed.
As I was waiting for the saleswoman to ring me up, another woman in the store was schmoozing with another saleswoman. Evidently, this other customer was also planning a wedding and they were discussing locations to hold weddings. She shared which hall her simcha would be taking place in. But then she felt the need to add that she could never bring herself to make a wedding in a different one – the lady went on to enumerate all the things she could not stand about this particular hall.
Unbeknownst to her obviously, this “awful” hall was the very same hall that I will be getting married in just less than 2 months from now! I realized that this woman’s critiques were shortsighted, but it’s not hard to imagine how I felt after hearing her negative words. How could a woman insult a bride (who is often especially sensitive and emotional) by announcing right in front of her that her wedding would be taking place in a sub-par hall?! The answer of course, is that she clearly had no idea that the girl standing a few feet away from her would be harmed by her words. I am not judging the woman, but this certainly taught me a powerful lesson. While an average person wouldn’t intentionally try to insult another person, the power inherent in the words we say begs us to cultivate that extra sensitivity and realize that negative words often inflict more damage than we may intend.”
While the Torah commands us to speak up at times, there are many instances when saying less is a kinder option.
We are proud to partner with the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation which is working hard to create a #CultureOfCompassion and cause awareness of the power of speech. Today, on the Chofetz Chaim’s yahrzeit, please consider partnering with them too, either by learning more about the laws of lashon hara http://powerofspeech.