Better to Trip With the Feet Than With the Tongue – Zeno

Person slipping on wet floor


If only they handed out degrees for that thing, I am sure I would now be prefixing my name with a Dr. 

I tried to take the easy way out and pin it to a genetic fault – one that made me prone to tripping, but after weeks of ogling away at my parents’ movements, I was at a loss. Alas! I was a self-made tripping queen. 

Tripping over electric wires, hanging loosely from the socket.

Tripping over a door mat (for real, no kidding).

Tripping over an Ottoman.

Tripping over a can of coke.

Tripping over a classmate’s foot (I am sure he held it out deliberately) on my way, running behind Miss Madan (one of my favorite teachers) on her way to the staff room.

I didn’t seem to learn much from them, given that my graph plot of average trips per year continues to defy all expectations from a person of normal hand-to-eye coordination.

Not contrary to what you’d expect from such an individual, I have a gamut of cuts, scratches, and embarrassing memories to show for it. I have made peace with it over the years. Or at least I think I have. 

And this talent of mine isn’t restricted to physical comedies (comedies to you, of course, to me, they were anything but, at that time). I used to be quite the expert in a slip of tongues as well. I will spare you the details. 

Suffice it to say that the most awkward mistakes I have made were a trip of the tongue, or putting a foot in it, if you will. That is why it made so much sense when I read this quote by Zeno. 

Better to trip with the foot than the tongue.

Even the slightest slip of the tongue can potentially ruin relationships, your reputation, or some. 

Reputation, I didn’t care about much, mostly because I hardly have any. 

Relationships, yes, they hurt, they hurt badly and still do. 

What I thought was a light-jested remark to a friend of five years didn’t go down so well with them. I can only assume because I haven’t spoken to them for years. I do feel like Adele’s Hello character, trying to get through to this friend.

All that to say, if my years have taught me anything, the tongue’s a titan. Heed you must, its powers.

Thee doth not has’t to hark to me. 

Hark to Zeno.


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