My grandfather Domenico had many wise sayings, among which, one he used frequently when he wanted to remind us to always be kind with our words and our actions, and avoid judging others. “Non sputare in aria ché in faccia ti torna “, he would say. When you spit in the air, it comes back down on your face. In other words, never think you are better than the next guy becasuse the next crisis might be yours. Let’s face it. We are all in the same life boat. Some times it rocks, sometimes it rolls, other times it may look like it is sinking. You only think you have an advantage now, but life is dynamic and that is the nature of our journey. The solution is compassion, emphathy and kindness for your fellow human being.
Because of my grandfather’s extraordinary example, I always make my best efforts to be kind to others with my words and actions, especially when someone is going through tough times. Yet it still angers me when I hear someone lodge cruel and flippant comments about someone when they are down. I am floored when I hear things like: ” Well if only that person hadn’t…he/she wouldn’t be in this predicament now.” or “He/She deserves what they are getting because it came about through their own foolish mistake,” or “If so-and-so hadnt’ taken those sick days off, he/she wouldn’t have gotten that pink slip”. What is the real motive behind this kind of hostility? Is it Jealosy? Superiority? Is there a false sense of self-affirmation by putting someone else down ?
Malicious gossip is a poison that inevitably gets back to the ears of the person it was meant to hurt. And they will hurt a lot. What my grandfather knew, is that the words we use, become the building blocks of our own character. Always choose words that reflect beauty, goodness, and light. Never “sputare in aria ” Instead, let your words reflect what is in your sacred soul, and not become the dark cloud that shapes you into something you really don’t want to be .
Lately I have heard several people around me make or write malicious gossip about good and decent people who are down on their luck and I began to wonder ho widespread this might be. The words of nonno Domenico echoed back to me today as I caught wind of these commnents, and I knew I was being directed to offer you this challenge:
For the next 7 days, please join me in wiping out all malicious words from your conversation, and refusing to be part of others’ vicious gossip . Words DO hurt, and in the end, they will come back and hurt you when they are unkind. If you can make the seven day challenge, I want you to write to me at : firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know next on July 18th (final day) with a detailed paragraph of how you avoided gossiping and/ or refrained from joining in others’ gossip. I will choose two winners with the best short essays and send them a free copy of one of my ebooks in my ebook store. Thank you for helping me to keep our world a little kinder! And thank you , nonno Domenico, for being such a remarkable role model for your granddaughter!