A Facebook friend shared this simple but very valuable story on his page. With his permission I want to share the same story so that many more people can read and learn from it. I hope it is of use to you.
1. A friend asked a person: “How much is your salary working in that store?”
He replied: “$19 per hour.”
“Only $19 per hour? That’s very little to appreciate your hard work. How could you meet your daily needs with that little money?”
Since then the person hates his job. He asked for a salary increase from the store owner but was rejected. He was eventually laid off. Now, he does not have any income and is unemployed.
2. In a social gathering a lady asked: “Don’t you think your house is rather small? Don’t you have many children?”
The homeowner, who had previously thought her home rather roomy and comfy suddenly felt it was small for the size of her family. Their comfortable life slowly disappeared as they tried to keep up with a new and hefty mortgage loan from the local bank for the bigger house they bought.
3. A brother asked his sister a week after she delivered her baby: “What kind of present did you receive from your husband after the birth?”
“Nothing,” she answered.
He asked her again: “Really? Aren’t you considered valuable to him? I often give presents to my wife for any reason.”
When the tired husband came home from his office that afternoon, he found his wife upset. They argued. Eventually this couple went through a divorce.
4. A person asked a grandpa: “How often do your children come to visit you in a month?” The grandpa replied: “Once a month.”
The person added: “Wow. I would think they would visit you more often.”
The grandpa became discouraged. He used to be grateful with his children’s visits.
He then cried more often and his physical condition and his health worsened.
What advantage do we get by asking questions such as these? How can we instead listen more, and think before we talk. Let us refrain from interfering with other people’s lives. Let us not shrink anyone’s world by planting the seeds of disappointment and dissatisfaction for what they have by criticizing and not appreciating them. With harmful, judgmental questions we become the agents for destruction in our own and others’ lives.
When a bomb is exploding, please reflect on your words, your tone of voice and your attitude. You might find that it is you who is lighting the fuse.