Put a Sock in It

Do not slander one another.
     —James 4:11

Henry Ward Beecher received an anonymous letter consisting of one word: “Fool!”

“I’ve received quite a few letters from people who forgot to sign their name,” Beecher said, “but this is the first one I ever got from someone who signed his name and forgot the write the letter.”

The temptation to hide behind anonymity is a warning to tap the brakes; a poke in the ribs to resist saying something you wouldn’t want repeated with your name attached. If you wouldn’t want the target of your tongue to hear your harangue, back off.

There’s a good chance it will get back to them. If that makes you uneasy, put a sock in it.

If you wouldn’t say it to their face
don’t say it behind their back.

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