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The Hard Truth
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One morning an excited Bostonian rushed into the office of a Dr. Everett. A local newspaper had published an article about him, he said, which severely criticized his conduct. He wanted to know if Dr. Everett thought he should demand that an apology be printed, or if he should take legal action, asking for damages.

It was a good time for the doctor to remain calm and cool. Listening quietly while his visitor raved and fumed and sputtered, he finally had a chance to give the man some counsel.

“My dear sir,” he said, “I would do nothing. Half the people who got that paper never saw the article. Half of those who read it did not understand it. Half of those who did understand it did not believe it. Half of those who believed it were of no importance anyway.”

Called Him a Fool

At one time somebody told President Lincoln that Stanton, his Secretary of War, had called him a fool. Lincoln replied that it must be true, for “Stanton is usually right.”

A teacher of elocution went a long distance one night to hear Mr. Beecher deliver an address. When the sermon was finished, he pushed up to the front and said to the speaker, “Mr. Beecher, I am an elocution teacher from the State of New Jersey. I came over to hear the greatest American preacher, but I am terribly disappointed.”

“What is the matter now?” asked Beecher.

“Well, sir, I counted eighty errors in grammar in your sermon.”

“Is that all?” asked Beecher. “I would have wagered my old hat that there were over eight hundred if you hadn’t told me.”

We so often get our blood pressure up over something someone is supposed to have said about us. Maybe they said it, and maybe they didn’t. If they did say something about us, perhaps the report which has reached us is terribly exaggerated. Most rumors or stories, if ignored, will die a natural death in a short time. One thing is sure, our friends will not believe them.

If someone is telling the truth about us, we surely should not object to that. If it is not true, why worry about it?

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By James Wallace. Reprinted with permission from Signs of the Times March 2005. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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