T.H.I.N.K. before you speak

  • Published
  • By Chap. (Lt. Col.) Art Ullrich
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Chapel
There are some of us who were born with a foot in our mouths--kind of like the stock boy at the grocery store...

A lady approached the young man asking, "Can I buy a half of lettuce?" Let me check said the boy. So the stock boy walked back to ask the manager, not realizing the lady was walking right behind him. You're not going to believe this sir, but there is this old bag out there who wants to buy a half of lettuce." He turned around and saw this lady standing there and quickly added, "And this fine lady would like to buy the other half."

Sometimes our tongues can get us in trouble. I'm sure we all have had an embarrassing moment in our lives when we wished we could take back the words we said. I have found in my own life, if I wanted to have a good relationship with my family and others, I needed to be a good banker. I had to exercise the principle of making timely deposits and if I was going to have a strong bank account I needed to make sure I never went in the red.

What I'm talking about is not managing my money, but rather about managing my deposits and withdrawals in the emotional bank accounts of my wife, my children and everyone I banked with. Every time I communicated and said something affirming, positive, loving, caring, encouraging, gentle, honest and truthful I was in fact making a deposit into their emotional accounts. Equally when I communicated such words that were harsh, negative, hateful, destructive, shaming, critical and bitter, I was making a significant withdrawal.

Today, I have a solution that may help you. When I was in college, acronyms were a great way of learning and remembering something. So before you speak, I want you to remember the word THINK before you speak. If it is not THOUGHTFUL, HONEST, INTELLIGENT, NECESSARY OR KIND you OUGHT NOT TO SAY IT. T.H.I.N.K. about it, it might just save your bacon.