Thursday, September 19, 2013

Keep Your Cheerful Songs To Yourself

"Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart."  Proverbs 25:20

My main memory of one workplace was of two or three super cheerful people always chiding others for not being positive and upbeat.  For a while, a couple of supervisors tried to get a guy in my department to change.  They even hung notes on the door facings which stated "no whining allowed."  I didn't notice a discernible improvement in his attitude.  Frankly, I fall somewhere in between the two extremes.  I find perky individuals positively disgusting.  They are at least as unbearable as the whiners.  Like the scripture says, people who sing to a heavy heart are like someone stealing a coat in the cold. 

One problem with the terminally effervescent is how out of touch with reality they can be.  Always maintaining a positive attitude, even when your house is burning down in Hurricane Sandy is more than a little schizophrenic.  The last thing a grieving homeowner needs is the hale and hearty slapping them on the back and telling them to look for the silver lining.  They need to be allowed time to get to that place by themselves.

The caution not to sing songs has special meaning in my family.  When our daughter was young we wanted to provide her with all the best of life.  We enrolled her in children's art and music classes.  Unfortunately, some of them started pretty early on Saturday morning.  This child is not an early riser. So, her Dad made up a little song.  Do you want to go to music class and play and sing?"  She hated that song as long as she remembered it.  No, she didn't want to go.  It was Saturday and she wanted to sleep.

What is meant as playful fun to one can actually be like salt in a wound if the other person is very tired or very troubled. 

Tread carefully on the feelings of others.  If you have to walk a mile in their shoes, you may need them to be considerate of you.

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