Words shape who we are as humans. Using them wisely is an enormous responsibility.
There can be no denying the power of words. They are perhaps the most powerful instrument for good or ill on Earth. Words can be used to build up or tear down, to create or destroy.
Yes, words are that powerful.
Words are a huge responsibility
I have recently been reminded of just how big of a responsibility my use of words is in relation to how they affect others. It is a huge responsibility that I am pledging to take more seriously.
Let’s examine the word abuse. You may or may not have noticed that my articles in recent months have used the word trauma instead of abuse. The reason I have done this transposition is that many people are turned off immediately when reading the words childhood abuse. However, they are more willing to read on when they see the words childhood trauma.
My decision is probably controversial
This may be a controversial decision to many, who may feel I’m hiding the truth behind a euphemism. However, what I am trying to do is to help people to hear the truth. The sanest way to do this is to not shove words people do not wish to acknowledge down throats.
The old saying states you can get more flies with honey than vinegar. My thoughts on words are similar.
You cannot force someone to listen
If you try to force someone to listen to your point of view by using a word they either cannot or will not hear, then you have lost the battle before you have begun to fight. For this reason, I have chosen to use the word trauma whenever possible. I wish to be heard, and I deny nothing.
Yes, words are very powerful and can evoke strong emotions.
Words shape how we see ourselves and the world
The things we say to one another and to ourselves can, and do, drastically shape how we perceive our world.
A child who is told they are a worthless piece of meat who only takes from the world and doesn’t belong in it forever internalizes those words. For their entire lives, unless some miracle of fate intervenes, they will believe they are indeed worthless pieces of meat. They will feel they are just taking up space and incapable of giving anything back.
Self-talk is important
The self-talk we give ourselves is no different.
Words we say about and to ourselves, our circumstances and our lives mold us to fit what we are saying. We become what we speak, fulfilling our own prophecies. If we say to ourselves that we cannot do something because we are too stupid, ugly, etc., then we doom ourselves from becoming more than we are and all we can be.
Words can shape humanity’s future
The power of words can never be overstated. They can be used to help build a better society or to destroy what exists. In other words, our words can save humanity and propel us into the future, or cut humanity down in its infancy.
My Pledge for 2018
I have decided to take a pledge for 2018. It is that I am going to guard my words spoken to others and to myself carefully. I’m going to struggle to rein in the negative and ugly words that my mouth can utter, and substitute them with words that are helpful and just. When I fall short, I will admit my mistake and apologize. No excuses, no hem-hawing about, I will say the magical words, “I was wrong.”
What about you?
“There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.”
― Philip K. Dick, VALIS
Reproduced with permission, originally posted on morgan6262