Not tongue in cheek . . !




SOMETIME back I decided not to carry my cell phone with me. I managed to do so for two weeks. My friends thought I was crazy. “Bob!” they cried, “we remember when your hands free mouth piece used to be clipped to your beard. It was part of your face!”

I smiled; I did remember. There was nary a moment when I was not on the phone, calling somebody or other, or sitting in the car, talking to friends, or casual acquaintances as my driver drove me around. We passed the sea, we passed magnificent hills but my mouth firmly fixed on the seductive mouthpiece and my mind on needless conversation hardly noticed rolling waves or soothing hills.

It’s been estimated that a talkative person speaks around thirty thousand words a day! But the important question is, how do my words, whether many or few, affect those around me? A Greek philosopher asked his servant to cook the best dish possible. The servant who was very wise, prepared a dish of tongue saying, “It’s the best of all dishes, for it reminds us that we may use the tongue to bless and express happiness, dispel sorrow, remove despair and spread cheer.”

The philosopher was quite intrigued by his servant’s philosophy and later asked him to cook the worst dish possible. Again he prepared a dish of tongue, saying, “It’s the worst dish for it reminds us that we may use the tongue to curse and break hearts, destroy reputations, create strife, and set families and nations at war.”

I didn’t have to eat tongue to grasp that servant’s point, but I certainly have had to eat my own words quite often before I’ve learnt to avoid saying things I’d like to retract later. Which is why I believe now, the less said the batter.

King Solomon wrote: “The tongue of the wise promotes health.” The key word here is not tongue but ‘wise.’ The tongue is not in control but the person behind it is. Like I said it was for two weeks I managed and my friends are curious.

“What do you do with your talk time now?” they asked. “I talk.” “You talk?” they asked looking at each other incredulously with a ‘I told you so’ nod. “Yes,” I said, “I talk.” “Without a phone?”

“The person I talk to, who’s the One who created my mouth, doesn’t need a phone to be contacted.” “And what Bob, do you talk to this Person about?” “To make me wise,” I whispered, “that when I do use my tongue I’ll use it to bless, express happiness, dispel sorrow, remove despair and spread cheer..!”