The Word

>> Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sticks and stones...

We all know that saying, we have all taunted someone making fun of us with how much it DOESN'T affect us, by saying that. But it's very wrong. It should say:

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will ALWAYS hurt me.

I get the idea. I really do: be so strong that physical pain is far worse than emotional pain. But when someone hits that soft spot, uses words that effect you to the very depth of your person, well, then, they will stay with you forever. That sentence will ring in your ears whenever you have a moment of self doubt.

But, words are just words. ONE word should not a feeling make. A string of words, a line of intent, that is what hurts.

I have heard insulting words all my life, I have tolerated some, belittled others and even been known to smack down the offender. However noble my intent, and my intent was indeed noble, it was a tad bit misguided.

I have always believed that ONE word is not offensive, it is how it is used. I see more and more people getting upset over ONE word. And a variety of them at that. The words are deemed offensive because we are told they should be, and people like feeling superior by telling others they are wrong to use it. That stance drives a wedge in the prospect of building a bridge, of creating understanding. It's off-putting to correct someone who is legitimately trying to understand and simply using the terms, or The Word, that they are familiar with. And when one looks at the 'offensive' words that are causing so much consternation, we find that only recently have they been deemed offensive. In the past they were simply used as an efficient means to convey a thought. Down and dirty it was. Now, they are just vulgar. But I wonder why?

I challenge you to look up the primal definition of any word that you are told should not be used. Look it up and try to see it outside of the context YOU have put it in. Look at the very heart of it, see it for what it was meant to be and not what we have corrupted it to be. Think for yourself. Don't be oversensitive, it will drive people away and confirm their worst beliefs. It's just ONE word.

Of course, if someone is trying to be mean, well then, make them cry. Anyway you know how.


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