Words to be more exact.
Today I was perusing Facebook when I came across a status update with several comments. This status update was a pastor I like updating about his experience in Haiti so far. He is there dropping off some supplies to local churches. I was disappointed to see how many of the comments were critical, even hateful.
Words are so powerful, yet we throw them around like it’s nothing. People, including myself, need to be more careful with the way we use our words.
How many times have you been having a bad day and someone tells you that you look great? Or tells you that you did a great job on something? Doesn’t that compliment make your day a little brighter? Depending on the situation, a compliment like that has even make my whole day better.
On the other hand: How many times have you been trekking along through your day and someone says something mean or unnecessarily critical? Doesn’t that just turn your whole day upside down? And if you managed to get over it, didn’t you have to make a conscious decision to let it go and be okay?
As a woman, this issue is even more important to me. Okay, raise your hand if you have ever gossiped…is everybody raising their hand? Yeah, in this society, gossiping is the trendy thing to do. There are magazines, TV shows, books and movies all dedicated to gossiping. And in the fun of telling stories about how what’s-her-face met what’s-his-face and cheated on so-and-so, words get twisted, rumors start, lies are told and in the end people are left hurting. Maybe not every time, but once is enough.
And the name-calling is ridiculous. Even friends call each other bitch. Regardless of the meaning among friends, the word is a derogatory term. That’s not to mention the name-calling outside of friendship. Slut, whore, skank and other demeaning names come rolling off the tongues of women without any remorse or care. The girl may not be promiscuous, but she is wearing a low-cut shirt, so she must be a skank; that is the attitude of many women. I have even found myself passing judgment. It’s like just because I can see her cleavage, I know her heart. I don’t, and it’s totally wrong of me to insult her based on the clothes she is wearing. This is just one of the many situations we use to hurl insults at other women.
Is all this name-calling and talking bad about each other a way to build ourselves up? I think it is. We feel better about ourselves as long as we are “better than that girl.”
What happened to being independent and empowered? I propose we stop being dependent on bad mouthing each other to feel better and become empowered and confident enough to encourage one another.
If you are a wife or even girlfriend, have you ever considered the effect your words have on your significant other? As a wife/girlfriend one of our most important roles is to be an encourager to our husband/boyfriend. He is a great guy in most cases, and if he isn’t, why did you marry him or why are still dating him? Guys tend to be under a lot of pressure to take care of you. So tell him he is doing a good job. Stop nagging and criticizing and build your man up. If you don’t believe me try it out for yourself. Make a point to be extra encouraging for a couple of days and see how he responds. I’ll bet you a cookie it will do wonders for your relationship. (Hold me to that bet. If it doesn’t work, comment and I’ll send you a cookie.)
Being a new mommy has brought this “importance of words” stuff to the forefront of my mind. I know from experience the power of words.
When I was in middle school my mom and I used to battle it out every morning before school. We would inevitably end up in a screaming match, which led to both of us throwing around words I don’t think we meant. On one of these mornings, my mom dropped me off at school, and her last words to me before she drove away were to call me a “fat ass bitch.” I am 23 years old, and it still really hurts my heart to remember that. We don’t have a speaking relationship to this day, and she has yet to meet my daughter.
My freshman year in high school I moved in with my Nana. She is a huge part of the reason I am who I am today. She constantly spoke words of life to me. Through the worst parts of my life, my Nana has been there encouraging me. She is pretty much my best friend. I could not be more blessed to have such a great relationship with her. I give a lot of credit to her because of her wisdom in how she has spoken to me throughout my life.
Now I have a daughter of my own. I encourage any mother reading this to be careful and wise with her words. I personally have a long ways to go. I hope one day I will be as wise as my Nana and other great women I know. And I hope I can impact my daughter the way they impacted me.
Now that the internet is such a intricate part of everyone’s lives, words are being thrown around like crazy. The second you think something, you can tweet. Anytime someone says something you don’t agree with, you can comment. If you want you can even write a blog and write about how you feel and what you think. Everything is instant and visible for everyone. While this technology has opened up a lot of opportunities for people, it has also opened the mouths of a lot of people essentially everyone. So next time you are tweeting, which is probably right now, or facebooking, take a moment to consider what you are putting out there.
Just some words for thought.
-Sarah, One Curly Mama