"If Only I Had Said...."
How many times after speaking to someone did you wish that you had not held your tongue and let the person know exactly how you really felt? How many times have you thought to yourself, "If only I had said...."
Earlier this year, I resolved never again to say these words. This is not saying that I planned to be obnoxious or rude in my dealings with others, but rather that I would clearly let another person know what I honestly thought, even if it might be perceived as being blunt.
There have been numerous occasions where I have done this since making this resolution, and I have to say, it has worked wondrously. This new-found candor in speech has helped me bring issues that long laid latent to a resolution instead allowing them to eat away at me and plague my thoughts.
I was amazed when I opened the Chumash this week and found a comment from Rashi that addressed precisely this issue in the week's parsha. Bereishis 37:4 relates the following regarding the brothers of Yosef, "His brothers saw that it was he whom their father loved more than all his brothers, so they hated him and could not speak peaceably with him."
To this, Rashi comments:
"From their discredit, we learn their praiseworthiness. For they [could have been hypocritical and pretended to speak peaceably with him; however, they were truthful and] did not speak one thing with their mouth, while thinking another in their heart."
Rashi lauded the brothers for their total candor regardless of whether it was positive or negative. He is revealing to us the lesson to always speak our minds when we have the opportunity, and not to hold things inside and allow them to continue to bother us.
Bottom line, Rashi is telling me to keep doing what I recently resolved to do.