“I Told You So”

Stockbyte/Getty Images

First off, I would like to thank all of you that have taken time out of your busy day to read this, and I ask that you please pray and send out positive energy to those in Houston, Sierra Leone, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal — I’m sure there are other places, but these are the ones that come to mind. I would also like to thank all of you that have been able to help those currently in need without looking to gain anything other than the satisfaction of knowing that you were able to help someone that truly needs it.

For those unaware of what has been going on in the city and countries that I’ve listed above, there have been a number of devastating floods and natural disasters. A number of children, women, and men have lost their lives in all of these places due to catastrophic flooding. Floods in Houston, the greater Houston area, the Golden Triangle, and even parts of Louisiana have really hit me hard as I’ve seen photos of family and friends that have either lost all that they have or are currently looking for a loved one, all while I have not been able to do much more past calling the individuals that I can reach just to check on them. Honestly, it’s depressing seeing the city that I spent most summers and holidays in as a kid hurt as bad as it has been hurt over the past couple of days. One thing that I do know all too well about the city of Houston is that the people always hol’ it diiine, and are extremely capable of rising above it all!

With all of that being said, I felt the need to address a statement that I’ve seen over the last couple of days from people that lack the ability to either sympathize or empathize. A statement that I believe is extremely disrespectful and unwarranted nearly all of the time, but especially during times of tragedy.

What is the one thing most of us hate hearing when we are going through an issue? “I told you so…”

There is nothing worse than fighting back tears while trying to keep you composure as someone, typically someone close to you, feels the need to say, “I told you so”.

“I told you not to reach for it”, as you lay on the floor in pain with some broken body part. “I told you that you should have left them”, as you try to keep from drowning in your tears after finding out the person you love cheated on you. “I told you that you should’ve evacuated”, as you look at a newly placed sea engulfing memories that will no longer feel the same. “I told you that he wasn’t really a man of God”, as thoughts of your grandmother’s well-being run through your mind.

What’s wrong with the statement? The problem is that there is a time and place for everything; however, there never seems to be a time nor a place for saying “I told you so”.

Think about it. You can make the statement right after an issue arises, but that might be too early. The person that is experiencing difficulty hasn’t had a chance to let the problem settle, and you end up looking like a d**k.

Perhaps you make the statement at a later time, but now it might be too late. The person has probably found a way to deal with the adversity, but doesn’t want to be reminded of it. Then you come along throwing the issue back in their face with you words. What do you end up looking like? You guessed it…a d**k.

What should we do?

Honestly, it would probably be better to eliminate the saying completely. Instead of piling more unneeded negativity, we need to find a way to give support to those in need. Let’s offer encouragement to those that are feeling hopeless.

Let’s try propping up the person’s broken limb while calling for help. Let’s offer a listening ear and words of wisdom to someone that finds themselves heartbroken. Let’s offer love and sympathy to those that have just lost everything that they previously had. Let’s offer a pillow to someone that doesn’t have a place to lay their head.

Let’s care about one another without needing an extra push of a natural disaster. After all, we’re all we got!

More from Kevin L. Cole, Jr. at: https://medium.com/@kevlcole