Words. How well do you use yours?
I have always prided myself on being thoughtful, careful with how I use words both in my writing and in my interactions with people.
It was with shock and horror at myself when I snapped at a loved one the other day and told him that what he was asking about had happened because his rudeness had gone too far.
I am the first to admit that he did not deserve that. We often behave in an unreasonable manner when provoked and he was no different.
When we were in lower primary school we used to sing “sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.”
Even then I wondered at the wisdom behind this particular song because I knew -first hand – that words can and do indeed hurt. School playgrounds can be cruel places and if you were bespectacled at a very young age and chubby like I had been then you likely found yourself at the receiving end of many taunts. Words can be damaging…. well……beyond words.
It got me to thinking how carelessly and how callously we throw around words without thought to their effect.
Teachers who hold the very fragile egos of children in their hands seldom understand the power they have. A single derogatory comment can wound a child far more than actual physical punishment. (You have no business being a teacher or calling yourself one if these are the tactics you resort to but that’s a post for another day)
You might say something in jest or without thinking. You might have not meant it the way it was perceived. But that does not change that it has power to hurt. Badly.
Words are more than sounds you make with your voice or the stroke of your keyboard. Words are poisonous arrows or a warm embrace; a gentle reminder or a harsh reprimand depending on how you use them.
” Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.” Unknown.