Unless it’s just plain boring, common table talk seldom damages either listener or speaker. Although gossip is never justified, there are many times when even innocent idle words ought not “from the tongue unbridled slip.”
Obviously, it’s mandatory to button the lip in any venue that calls for silence. Only a genuine emergency excuses a brief whispered exchange during church or at the theater. Always, deeply personal info deserves to be filed under N for nostalgia or P for painful, then locked in that mental file to be retrieved if needed but rarely shared without a genuinely compelling reason. What’s nobody’s business should remain nobody’s business.
But did you know that idle talk could result in needless concerns, maybe even excess medication?
For months, my weekly blood pressure check has been running nicely even, at a satisfactory level, varying no more than a few degrees one way or another. It’s measured by the same med tech, using the same digital equipment, at the same time of day – right after lunch. I wait a while after eating so digestive juices have time to do their stuff.
That’s why I was dismayed a few days ago when the top figure spiked alarmingly.
“Let’s take it again,” I begged. “There must be something wrong.”
“OK,” she agreed. “But this time, don’t talk.”
I clamped my jaws, shut my eyes and tried to relax. And for once, I kept my mouth shut.
Sure enough, the top number also relaxed. All the way down from 143 to 128. In just a couple of minutes.
My unrestrained “idle words” – just normal, everyday bits and pieces of friendly conversation – apparently amped delivery of blood to the appendages. Or did they restrict the piping? Whatever. Is there a lesson there, somewhere?
Conversation is important to young and old. Visiting, sharing dreams and plans and memories with family and friends. Facts with doctor, therapist, CPA. But lacking any good reason to spout off, we all need to let “the heart’s best impulse” stop all ugly, hurtful comments “… ere they soil the lip.”