We are very excited at the moment because Hub has decided to retire early next July.  Although we still have some months to wait for this big event, and of course we do not want to wish our lives away, we are enjoying talking about how things will be different when he embarks on this new chapter in his life.

I was telling a colleague about this recently, and spoke about the wonderful holiday we have booked for next September by way of celebration and helping Hub to unwind.  We will be spending four weeks on the beautiful Scottish isles of Skye, Harris and Uist.

In the face of my enthusiasm about this news, what was her reaction?  She said that she would not advise being on those islands at that time of year because they are prone to bad weather then.

Be kind wherever possible.  It is always possible.

~ Dalai Lama

At the time, I was rather taken aback, but simply replied that we had holidayed on the islands in September previously, when we had experienced glorious, Mediterranean-like weather.

I have since reflected on why she might have come across so negatively.  I am sure she meant nothing by it as such, and probably did not even think about the implications of what she was saying.  However, for my part, this is a useful reminder about the power of our words.  We may consciously or unconsciously say something which has an unexpected impact on the receiver.  Most of the time, we would probably be horrified to know that we may have caused upset or offense.

How important, then, to bring to the forefront of our conscience an awareness of what we are thinking and saying.  In the grand scheme of things, do we really need to state what we believe to be facts?  How often can we be certain of the truths we claim to share?  More often than not, those things we view as ‘real’ and ‘true’ are nothing more than our own beliefs and opinions.

Of course, we should be honest.  We should act in ways which are congruent and authentic, in line with our core values.  This is not inconsistent with taking the trouble to consider how best to respond to things other people ask or tell us.

I am grateful to my colleague for the reminder of this invaluable lesson.  It is not always easy to pause and reflect in that split second before speaking.  I know that it is something I must try more often to do.

When the choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace.

~ Dr Wayne Dyer