No, I don’t mean it this way.
I mean, taking a break before you decide. Before you respond. Before you comment or post or tweet.
My wife tells how as a teenager, she’d go shopping with her mom. Inevitably, she’d want something and ask her mom to buy it. Her mom would wisely counter with (I’m paraphrasing): “We’re not buying this today. But…if it’s something you really love, I mean really love–can’t live without– and you still feel that way in a week or so…then we can discuss it.”
Nine point five times out of ten, my wife would forget about the item or decide she didn’t want it after all.
The Stoic teacher Epictetus wrote, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
The first way to control our response to all outside stimuli and events is with time. Take a beat. Think about the effects of our potential actions. Say to ourselves, “Is this something we really, really want to say or do right now?”
Sit on it for a little while.
Then, with clear eyes and hearts, we can decide what to do. How to respond.