These two (three?) words are hard for many folks to utter; however failing to say them when needed can cause inestimable harm. Each of us regularly commits act or neglects to perform acts which result in the need to speak these words.
If "eating crow" is particularly distasteful to you, here are some guidelines I found recently to help you avoid this unpleasant meal. This list is adapted from ideas found in a poem titled You Will Never Be Sorry by Byron Pulsifer.
THINK before acting,
HEAR before judging,
THINK before speaking,
STAND by your principles,
PROTECT your ears from gossip,
BRIDLE a slanderous tongue,
FORGIVE your enemies,
HELP a fallen brother,
SYMPATHISE with the afflicted,
BE candid and frank,
BE honest in business,
BE courteous and kind to all
Of course, in reality these ideas boil down to the advice given in the Golden Rule (some variation of which is advocated by almost every religion ever practiced): Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This principle can be applied all aspects of our lives. You have opportunities every day to model the behavior that reflects how you would like to be treated.
- Would you like to be treated like a lady or a gentleman?
- Would you like to have someone return the billfold that fell out of your pocket at the mall?
- Would you like to have the person in front of you in line at the cash register to complete his/her transaction without unnecessary delay?
- Would you like the person who accidently trashed your mailbox to "fess up" and offer to get it repaired?
- Would you like to have another driver move over into a left lane and allow you to enter the expressway before the entrance lane runs out?
- Would you like to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature without the clutter and disharmony of fastfood bags, empty bottles and cans, and discarded dirty diapers littering the view?
- Would you like to be able to hear the dialog in the movie instead of hearing someone else talk on their cellphone?
"You are in charge of your feelings, beliefs, and actions. And you teach others how to behave toward you. While you cannot change other people, you can influence them through your own behaviors and actions. By being a living role model of what you want to receive from others, you create more of what you want in your life." ..... Eric Allenbaugh
"Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act." ....George W. Crane (I usually phrase this one: It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than to think yourself into a new way of acting.)
"Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his image." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe-