Is There an Alarm for Careless Words?

A Smoke Alarm Is A Good Thing

I set the smoke alarm off — first time in the new house. I have a talent for that. This time a residue of grease from last night’s hamburgers created some smoke while the oven was preheating for tonight’s fare.

It’s not like the kitchen filled with smoke. No, the heated air, which provoked the alarm, was invisible, but odoriferous. I could smell the trouble before the beeper buzzed.

The mercy of a smoke alarm is that it beeps in time for me to react, throwing open doors and windows, and starting the exhaust fan. I am grateful we have such a sensitive system. (If nothing else, the sound got my blood pumped into places I didn’t know I had.)

I Wish I Had One for My Words!

Having time to react – to prevent further damage – is helpful – not to mention life saving. I wish an alarm would go off: beeeeep-beeeep when I am so full of myself, and talking too much. That way, I might have time to discover I had hurt someone’s feelings – and apologize.

Unfortunately, as one wise soul lamented: There is no backspace key on my mouth.

The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you haven’t thought of yet. ~Ann Landers

Such an alarm might also warn me to slow down and listen for what is not being said. Sometimes thinking that a friend was uninformed, or dull because they had no reply to my strong opinions, it dawned on me they may have showing me great kindness:

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. ~Dorothy Nevill

There is just one degree of heat that makes the difference between the sweet smell butter sizzling and the acrid smell of burning fat, setting off the smoke detector. OH that I knew that degree! However, there is Spanish Proverb that might just be like a valuable conversational alarm:

Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.


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