They did not cross it side by side.
There are, in my experience, often two paths people take when using their words. They’re either kind, censoring their tongue and thinking before they speak, or they’re careless, allowing sarcasm, jabs, and lack of empathy to color their language. As Steve Martin once put it, “Some people have a way with words, and other people…oh, uh, not have way.”
I don’t have a great revelation for how to prevent someone from being harsh or acerbic. I can say many people do this in a rote way, without real malice. It can be a knee-jerk reaction. This doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. I’ve witnessed a number of these incidents from outside the veil over the past few weeks, and every time I’ve watched sadness bloom where joy would arise if kindness were planted instead of carelessness.
We have a power to change careless into kindness. We get to choose. I think Mother Teresa said it well, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
I hope, should we meet one day, kindness will guide the way.