The written word has bite
After 35 years via internet an old friend and I made contact. I emailed my sister, who also knew him about this connection, and made positive comments about Brian. I made also a couple of negative comments meant only for her ears (one of my comments was that Brian was superficial). She by accident emailed what I said to Brian and this was very embarrassing. The words I said could have been hurtful but he responded as a total gentleman and I offered a total apology and humbled myself. He accepted and all seemed relatively okay. I jokingly mentioned to him that I speak negatively towards everyone so he shouldn’t feel singled out. It relieves pressure although is not a good character builder. Brian also said emails can be treacherous and he was right. It takes only one click and the damage is done.
It still bothered me, both because of my sister’s carelessness for sending it and for the comment I made to Brian. It also tainted from the start a renewed friendship. Later, I spoke to my dad about it and he was in a receptive mood. I like to involve him when I can otherwise he can withdraw and show little interest. Anyhow, he spoke of the human element, that it is not good to hurt others, and that Brian saw my humility in my apology, and eventually that lead to his heart. My heart spoke to him. Finally, a practical suggestion was offered by my dad was that to put things in writing could be dangerous. Feelings can be felt but the written word has legs and can bite. My father sometimes could surprise with such insights.