Damage Caused By Words are as Feathers in the Wind


  • Think before you speak: Gossip spreads like scattered feathers, causing damage that's hard to undo.
  • Apologies have limits: Saying sorry doesn't erase the hurt caused by your words.
  • Choose silence wisely: Knowing when to keep quiet can prevent trouble.
  • Think twice, speak once: Verify information and count to ten before spreading rumors or news.
 “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”
Mahatma Gandhi


A well-known tale worth remembering has to do with the havoc caused by thoughtless words. The story revolves around a known village gossiper who realizes his lack of restraint in spreading information caused much havoc. He confided in a wise man, asking for forgiveness and promising to do whatever it took to make amends.

The wise man instructed the gossiper to cut open a feather pillow and scatter all the feathers on the wind.

‘Is that it, then?’ he asked, flicking the last feather into the air with thinly disguised annoyance, ‘have I made amends? Am I now forgiven?’

‘You’ll have to ask the people you hurt about forgiveness,’ replied the wise man, ‘as for making amends, all you have to do is gather all the feathers and put them back in the pillow.’

‘But that’s impossible’, objected the gossiper, trying raise himself to his ful height, ‘the wind has scattered them everywhere.’

The wise man shrugged; ‘It is as difficult to repair the damage done by words as it is to recover feathers in the wind.'

The lesson?

'Choose words carefully for they are like feathers in the wind.
Once they’re spoken, you can neither get them back.'
– Frazer T Buchannan


Another way of illustrating a similar point is to throw a plate down hard onto the floor. Does apologizing return it to the way it was before?  Nuff said!

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Ancient words of wisdom say; '...there is  time to keep silence and a time to speak.'  We don't always get it right, but bearing this in mind might save a few scattered feathers.

There’s another helpful quote from Charles dickens that says; ‘Least said, soonest mended.’ Perhaps its better just to say that next time we are tempted to be the first to spread the news. With so much fake information and videos flooding social media platforms and the like, verification habits will spare us much embarrassment as will just remembering to ‘count to ten’ before we speak.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical or psychological advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

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