Thursday, May 26, 2011

Insert your worst word here _____ .

But please do not say it.

Words can be powerful and they can heal, and words can hurt deeply. Powerful words are written down and used again or referenced. They guide and inspire; they bring hope and resolve. Healing words are passive and gentle, much appreciated in the moment, but often easily forgotten. Hurtful words dig in and last forever, they leave scars and turn people’s lives in the wrong direction. Of all the words there are, hurtful words are the worst.

Hurtful words are easy to say, but can’t be taken back. Once said, they are like bullets and the damage is done. Before people react and speak they should deliberate on what words they have in their gun and should keep the safety on.

It takes thought and time, caring and care to come up with powerful and healing words. Hurtful words come easily and recklessly, as if automatically, and perhaps say something awful about human nature. If one were to think of tolerance and equality, support and acceptance, love and kindness or even deference and consequence before uttering hurtful words, it is likely they would not.

And there is no shortage of hurtful words for every situation. And the situation does not even have to call out for words; the words are just there and so ready to do damage.
There are hurtful words that mindlessly target the color of a persons skin, their gender, their sexual orientation, their nationality, their height and weight, the speech, their clothes, their financial status, their politics, their religious affiliation, their education level, the books they chose or don’t; essentially everybody’s everything.

So I would suggest that anyone reading this take a moment and insert their worst word and really think about what that word means and how it can hurt or even destroy another person, who may very well have a hurtful word that could do the same to you.

Insert that word here ____. Think about it. But please don’t ever say it again.

L. S.

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