“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Such a shame we teach our children this rhyme. Words are powerful. Words incite action. Words evoke emotions. Words have meaning. In essence, words are our most powerful weapon, so how could words not cause harm?
We are not unflawed. We’ve all fallen victim to our own self-righteousness. We’ve used demeaning terms to describe people. We’ve condemned “lifestyles” or choices blinded by our own sense of morality. We’ve past judgments and discriminated based on prejudices. We’ve positioned ourselves as the authority on the life of someone else.
And when others have used their words against us we’ve asked, “Who are you to judge my life?”
So, who are you to judge the life of another? Who are you to speak as the authority on what is right and what is wrong and more importantly, who has placed you above anyone else?
I am not infallible. I know of few who can and have used words as viciously as I have, but it has not brought me fulfillment. It has not brought me joy. During those times, I was left with regret. Even now, I remain embarrassed that I cannot take the words back.
In a world where we spend so much time in constant communication, what do you want your words to say about you?
If you knew your words would pierce the heart of someone you love, would you say it? If you were given a chance to redeem yourself, would you take it?
I ask you to use your words with caution. Use your words to elevate. Use your words to gain an understanding. Use your words to educate yourself if confronted with an unknown. Use your words to induce positive discourse amongst your audience.