Last week a friend of mine was traveling through Greece. She and her friend hopped on a tour bus with several other travelers. One couple appeared to be British and the man was talking very loudly. He started complaining about the journey, and then made statements about various nationalities he found “annoying” (including Americans). It seems he had a lot to say, and couldn’t resist doing so loudly. At one point, his wife suggested that he lower his voice, noting that he didn’t know who might be listening to his rude comments. She told him, rightly so, that he might be offending others. Unfortunately, he failed to heed her advice.
Making rude statements or offensive jokes is bad form in the best circumstances. When you do so loudly and within earshot of others, you run the risk of offending those around you and potentially even kicking off a fight. Don’t assume that because you are traveling in a foreign country, people can’t understand you. And, don’t assume that when you are surrounded by people who you take to share similar values (such as fellow churchgoers or coworkers) that they agree with all your beliefs. You may have negative thoughts, but it’s best to keep them private.
It’s like the old saying goes: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.” Especially not loudly!