One summer night at an all-girls summer camp, the campers were gathered in a circle for their nighttime devotions.
The counselor asked if any of the girls wanted to share something that had happened during the day which impacted them. One camper raised her hand and said a girl from another cabin had said something that hurt her feelings, and she was really upset about it.
The camp counselor went to the bathroom to grab a tube of toothpaste, then took the tube and squeezed out just a bit. She then tried to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but it just created a mess. Then she squeezed the tube even more, pushing more toothpaste out and creating even more of a mess, but none of it would go back into the tube.
The counselor told the campers, “This toothpaste represents the words you speak. Once you say something that you want to take back, it’s nearly impossible and only creates a mess. So think before you speak, and make sure your words are going to good use before you let them out.”