For those who don’t know about Dear Abbey it is an advice column founded in 1956 by Pauline Phillips under the pen name “Abigail Van Buren” and carried on today by her daughter, Jeanne Phillips. My friend John Bridges writes an advice column for a Nashville, Tennessee publication. But sometimes there was nothing like the advice, wit, and wisdom of a man dear to my family’s heart, Bob Hattoy. I wish everyone had a Bob in their life. The world would be a much better place.
Well on to my point. Recently a close friend said something that cut me to the core. I am sure the friend had no idea that her words hurt so much, because I didn’t let on. Now fast forward, different speaker, different time, and different circumstances and another friend made an off-the-cuff remark to Suzy with no ill intention but the pain inflicted was similar. I am confidant that in my too many years, I have unknowingly caused similar pain. It would be almost impossible not to have.
I wish Bob was still with us, because he had a knack for comebacks that found a way to diffuse the hurt and to find humor in the most painful of circumstances. So when words pierce like a knife I find myself saying to myself, “Maybe I should ask Bob.” It helps more than words can express.
I don’t have any great wisdom to broadcast today, except every time something like what I describe happens, I try to be more conscious of my own words and more sensitive to my friends’ feelings. We would like to think pain only comes from our adversaries, but the closer we are to someone the more careful we should be and more aware of our words and their feelings.
Then when all else fails say to yourself, “maybe I should ask Bob.” It really does help.