WORDS! We use them every day in so many ways. They are so very powerful and we really need to pay attention to how we use them. I am very careful about how I speak and write to people. WORDS can and need to be reassuring, nurturing, encouraging and honest. They can empower people to grow, to stand on their own, to take a risk in doing something new and positive. I love those kinds of WORDS and use them as often as I can. It is the other WORDS that concern me. They are the WORDS that cause pain, damage, false belief systems and fear. It is those WORDS that can change a person forever and cause them to believe things about themselves that are not and have never been true. Recently, a woman shared with me that she had been raped as a teen. I have heard similar stories before and I cried. She was courageous enough to speak to her father about what had happened to her. Her father blamed her. He said she basically “asked” for it. No one on the face of this earth, unless they suffer from some kind of psychological damage, “asks” to be raped. I have met young adults, grade schoolers, high school students, capable of doing extraordinary things who have used drugs/alcohol to numb themselves from negative, demeaning WORDS spoken to them that repeat over and over in their minds: you aren’t good enough; you’re too stupid to do that; you’re too fat; you’re too thin; you can’t be trusted; you are a liar; you never do anything right; why were you ever born?. The list goes on for quite awhile. Once WORDS are uttered, they stay out there, floating around, just waiting to be used again. Without lots of help, these young people go on to believe and become the lies they were told about themselves. Our jails are full of them. Our cemeteries are full of them because they couldn’t live any longer with the pain. Our psychiatric units are full. I visit women in prison. They are incarcerated because of drugs, theft, prostitution and they all grew up hearing the WORDS that destroy a person’s self-esteem. Once a person has been damaged by negative WORDS it is difficult for them to believe anything else. Maybe the WORDS were spoken by a parent, a teacher, a coach, another family member. Someone in a position of “power” that were looked up to. So when children begin calling other children hurtful names or things, they learned those WORDS somewhere, and the likely place of origin is “home.” They heard them used at home, maybe they were even spoken the very WORDS by those they love and look up to. Hurt people…hurt people! The WORDS grow into hate.
If you are a person who has a child or children, please use WORDS carefully with them. If you have a child or children in your circle of influence please weigh your WORDS before you say them. We can all make a difference for the better in many lives! At work, at home, anywhere that others will might hear us speak. It may take a lot of hard work, but positive change will happen.
You Are Wonderful and Amazing! Speak love, speak hope, even pause and think before speaking at all.