Knocking Mom off the Mower!

 “The world is getting to be such a dangerous place, a man is lucky to get out of it alive.”

W.C. Fields


Riding a sac swing was a favorite pastime growing up around the big mossy oaks of Central Florida. All it took was a good Croker sack filled with moss, a thick rope and a good solid oak limb. Once you became skilled at riding the sack you would graduate to the “hobo”. The “hobo” took place when a second or third or fourth person jumped on board as you swung back towards the take off limb. Trying to set records with the most people on the sack swing generally meant a flying leap by a willing fool towards the rope as the swing pendulum got further and further away. There was no place to sit but on people’s heads and hands below but we sure had a lot of fun doing it!

One day when I was in my teens, a friend and I were hoboing. As the swing reached the top of its pendulum my mother decided to scoot across our downward path on the riding lawnmower. That would have been a fun event if she had been driving a racecar lawnmower but instead she made it across just far enough to be perfectly in line with us as we came swinging down. It was a moment frozen in time as we slammed into the mower sending her flying and tipping the mower over.

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As we careened backwards from the impact we still clung to the sack swing. It was just registering what had happened when we realized we were starting our downward swing again, this time not towards mom on the mower but instead towards a mower on its side with its blades still whirring. We jumped off just in time! I can only imagine that there was nervous laughter as we all realized that nobody was hurt.

Mom’s intentions were pure…she just wanted to have some fun with her teenagers…to be a “cool” mom. Her miscalculation however could have had disastrous consequences.

Consider for a moment how our sometimes innocent and sometimes not so innocent, fun comes at the expense of others. How often are feelings really hurt when we crack one extra joke or make one extra “observation” that entertains everyone except the one person or people who are the object of the joke.

In the New Testament in the book of James it states that “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity” and that “no man can tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison”…..  “out of the same mouth proceedetth blessing and cursing”.

I am sure we have all had an experience where we just wish something that was said that was not flattering would have just been held back.

I am a big advocate for humor, pranks, fun sarcasm and so I do not promote walking on eggshells. However, a solid HighFiveYour Life principle is to try and project the long term effect of our short sided comments before speaking. It may slow down our wit a nano second or two but might keep mom on the mower and avoid unnecessary hurt.

HighFiveYour Life principle: Try and project the long term effect of short sided comments before speaking.

Please share stories from your life regarding this principle. If you would like to follow the weekly blog, please press the “follow” prompt. Thank you for keeping your comments appropriate for all readers.

One thought on “Knocking Mom off the Mower!”

  1. Thank you Gary, something I’m always attempting to remind myself of. So much better for us to think before we speak. I’m most concerned about the children in our life and how it affects them. Too often we speak to our children as if they are adults, without realizing the potential interpretation or long-term message they may be receiving. As they age, understanding how to “transition” in our communication can also be a challenge. My goal is to lessen the jabs and increase the compassion by being present in their side of the conversation. Thanks for sharing, and keep em coming!!

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