The Last Word
The significance of having the last word means different things to different people. The list can be long but here are some of the meanings that are arbitrarily assigned to having the “last word:”
- Not backing down in an argument
- A sign of being right even if it’s to one’s own detriment
- Releasing that last bit of pinned up anger
- Dramatic effect
- False sense of “winning” the argument
Admittedly I have fallen prey to every one of these assignments. It’s an admission that simultaneously embarrasses and yet provides me with a sense of freedom previously held captive by, dare I say, “foolish pride.” A quick and unintentional reprieve from last word syndrome that reigns me in is witnessing “last word” quips of other people. As I bare witness, it’s like looking into a retrospective mirror. The reflection shines an extraordinary light on the ridiculousness of it all.
While being an eyewitness to the quest for the last word, I hear words coming from people’s mouths, but my mind is frequently thinking “Wow, is that what I sound like? Have I engaged in conversations and gone on the rampage knowing that the end result of having the last word would not accomplish anything other than me having the last word?” Even as I write this, I am at the thought of how foolish I undoubtedly appeared as I rattled on about something (or should I say nothing). Time and again what we say, says more about us then what we don’t say. And that brings me to my next point.
Think, Speak (or not)
You know that old familiar saying, think before you speak. How about we put a new twist on it and change that to think before you speak and then don’t speak. Boy oh boy (in my brother Butch’s voice), God is talking to me this morning and telling me to be mindful to keep my mouth shut sometimes. He’s reminding me that what comes up does not necessarily have to come out. Ironically, that used to be my mantra in years past and yet somehow, I fell into the think it, speak it trap no matter what. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Let me return to a time where words of wisdom are bestowed upon me by the one and only giver of the gift of wisdom.
Let us all do better this year and rethink having to have that last word.