Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Ride Around Slow"

For some reason, the words of a cowboy song I heard decades ago have been echoing in my mind lately: "Ride around little dogies, ride around slow, for the fiery and snuffy are rarin' to go." I always figured that "fiery and snuffy" related to cattle that were ready at any moment to stampede--thus, the need for cowboys to ride around them slowly as they herded them. There are other interpretations, but I think this one makes as much sense as any.

And there's a real-world application for this, at least so far as I'm concerned. Go slow. Think about the possible consequences of your actions. In this modern world, where it's easy to pound a few keys, hit "enter," and see your words go out on the worldwide web, where they'll reside forever, the lesson is think before you hit send. Because an ill-chosen phrase or more can cause the "fiery and snuffy" to stampede--right over us.

There are a number of examples of someone failing to "ride around slow" with their public utterances, but since I suspect you know as many as I do, I'll leave it to you to fill in the blanks. Meanwhile, the next time you're tempted to snap back, either verbally or in written communication, remember that "the fiery and snuffy are rarin' to go." And there may be consequences.

Care to share some examples? I promise not to tell anyone.

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