Backspace and Life

“It’s quite helpful to talk with you rather than just knowing what I read in your application essay. I think it gives us a fuller picture of who you are.”
“Of course. Essays you can backspace.”

computer key Backspace

This was the dialogue exchanged between one of my fellow interviewers and one of the applicants. I stopped and wrote her words down. They are profound. Truly, it is one of the things I love most about writing. I can craft, perfect, and hone each phrase before publishing. And even then I can re-edit if I wish. I express myself best with time and typing.

Whereas, I constantly second guess my communication verbally. Every time I make an announcement or educate a patient or speak publicly in any way, I ruminate over my words and think about how I could have said it better. It’s infuriating at times! I wish I had ample time to craft a perfect response. But I have to think on the spot, respond to the best of my abilities, and keep going.

Life is more like speaking than writing. Life doesn’t have a backspace.

Yes, there are apologies and forgiveness. There is healing. But that is different than erasing the existence of an event. Even with healing there is often a scar. So how do we live in the ever flowing current of life knowing that each word counts and there is no backspace, no Control-Z option?

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