I believe that I need to constantly remind my kids that they should be mindful of what they say, write, and do for their actions will follow them throughout their lives. Treat others as you wish to be treated and you should be ok. It is that same advice that most of us should have learned in kindergarten that has been forgotten by many today.
What you say in an email, on a tweet, in a video, and yes even in person resonates loudly. Mistakes are made with the likely response to forgive but not forget. But lately common courtesy and mindful manners have been forgotten. Just this week, two such examples can be found. First comes Keith Olbermann who sadly uses Twitter to diss someone who raised money for charity, simply because of his dislike for their college, Penn State. It was both unnecessary and uncalled for.
The other misspeak comes from the Pope in what he obviously thought was a private e-mail exchange. In it he disparaged the Mexican people by characterizing the increased drug trafficking in his native Argentina as the "Mexicanization" of the country. And while the e-mail was meant to be private, the Pope, like my kids, needs to be reminded that nothing is private anymore. Every email, every selfie, every post has the ability to be shared over and over again. Nothing is private once it is shared with another.
And yet these two examples are only a small sampling of situations where we speak or act before we think. Just as A-Rod or Bill Clinton faced with the lies they told that had to be recanted. Apologies always come from such actions. We forgive (eventually) but hardly ever forget. Our digital world makes that impossible because unlike a physical letter, our digital communications are never truly erased. It is a lesson that keeps getting relearned time and time again. And a lesson that I hope my own kids truly understand.