An old man once spread rumors that his neighbor was a thief. The neighbor was arrested and released a few days after he was proved innocent.
He sued the old man for defaming him. The old man defended himself in the court saying that those were just words, and they didn’t harm his neighbor in any way.
The judge asked the old man to write down all the things he said in a paper, tear it into small pieces and throw them away on his way back home. The hearing was to be continued the next day.
The next day, when the old man came to the court, before announcing the sentence, the judge asked him to go back and collect all the pieces of paper that he threw away on his way back home. The old man said, “It is impossible. I won’t be able to find them as the wind carried and scattered them at many different places.”
To this, the judge replied, “In the same way, your words have spread and now you can’t take them back because your neighbor’s reputation is already harmed.”
Moral – Don’t say things you cannot take back.