Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘Spoke’

There are some things in life we just shouldn’t say out loud. Things that might make us want inwardly to groan and roll our eyes dramatically, yet we often find it is better to fix a fake smile to our faces and remain politely tactfully quiet rather than hurt someone’s feelings for no other reason than to be hurtful.

Think about Emma Woodhouse in Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’, who during a picnic with neighbours makes deliberate fun of the good-natured but somewhat unintelligent Miss Bates. On being asked to produce ‘One thing very clever… or two things moderately clever… or three things very dull indeed’, Miss Bates states that she should have no problem meeting the last requirement. However Emma replies hurtfully that Miss Bates may indeed have a problem, and that is in limiting her reply to only three…

Emma’s cruel comment may indeed have been accurate, and may even have echoed what others in the party may have been thinking, but should nevertheless have remained unspoken. I know that we are taught as children only ever to tell the truth, but sometimes a little white lie, either spoken directly or implied indirectly through omission, can be the kindest way forward in any conversation.

When you speak harsh words in order to belittle someone else, particularly someone who is not equipped for whatever reason to answer you back, more often than not, like Emma you only end up belittling yourself…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘Spoke’

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