A Time to Talk, a Time to Bite One's Tongue Until it Bleeds

for those of you that know me, i have a tendency to speak my mind. to really get sarcastic and short and, dare i say, downright patronizing when someone crosses me or frustrates me or tries to assert some sort of intellectual superiority over me. this is a definite flaw in my personality, and while i could write pages and many blogs about the reasons and causes of my behavior, but the bottom line is that i know better, and that this sort of short, vengeful speech makes for a terrible witness. i have friends that have talked to me about it, and i've started trying to do better, and prayed that God would help me.

so, anyway, i'm taking a class this summer with a dead-head hippie who is working on his twelve steps, and he lacks real mental cohesion or even comprehensive verbal syntax from decades of dropping acid, smoking weed, and drinking himself into oblivion (his words, not mine). listening to him speak is an adventure in the linguistic arts. somehow, this guy has a real beef with me (honestly, he has it with anyone who disagrees with him. i made that mistake the first day of class, and now i'm a target).

this morning, i specifically prayed that God would help me to control my tongue and not snap back at this guy, and that i'd be able to be a witness to others as i turned the other cheek and stayed calm. today, i was put to the test. this guy (his name is Shack), was talking about something, analyzing the social and prison system in indiana compared to some of the surrounding, more liberal states. indiana is not known to be forward thinking or progressive in really any arena, particularly in the realm of criminal justice. when i expressed this position, he went off on me in a bout of verbal diarrhea. i immediately hushed, and let him finish his tirade. the class ended, and Shack promptly fled the room. the rest of the guys in the class thanked me for being a good sport and not escalating the situation, because no one wanted to listen to him yell and scream.

it felt good to not be the blowhard. i might keep this up for a while.