But I Meant Well!
Have you ever said something that conveyed a second meaning very different from what you intended? Was it embarrassing? Were you able to ‘rescue’ yourself?
A business man found it necessary to travel to other cities several times a year because of the nature of his business. On one short trip he decided to drive home rather than stay another night in the motel as had been planned. During the last hour before arriving at home a thunderstorm broke out. The driving rain, the flashes of lightning and the peals of thunder made it more difficult but he arrived home safely after midnight. Since the family was not expecting him yet, he decided to tiptoe softly to the bedroom. Just as he reached the slightly ajar bedroom door, a flash of lightening allowed him to see that his two young daughters were in the bed with his wife. Not willing to awaken them he retreated to the living room and settled down on the couch.
In the morning the surprised family was delighted to see him but sad that he had missed out on a good sleep. He told the girls that he understood why they went to where mommy was. It was a scary night. But he expressed the hope that they would soon become brave enough to cope on their own.
The next trip was by airplane, and the family was waiting for him in the airport for his arrival home. As soon as the 7 year old daughter saw him she ran to him and shouted, “Daddy, daddy! I have good news.” Even the crowd paused to listen to this girl’s exciting news. “What is it, dear,” asked the dad. The girl declared, “No one slept with mommy while you were away.”
Some laughed, others tried to stifle a chuckle. The mother turned red with embarrassment and the father was stunned to silence. Having no clue as to why people were reacting like that the girl was on the verge of tears. A wise man stepped up to her and said, “Little girl, do you mean that you were brave enough to stay in your own bed even if you were scared of the dark? You are a very special girl.” The girl did not need correction, just affirmation of her good intentions.
The crowd applauded and cheered. His presence of mind rescued the girl. It takes a special insight to know what to say to a person who meant well, but didn’t realize what the other implications were.
Look for the sunny side,