Before You Throw That Word, Think About It.
It is good that we be kind to others. In the words of mother Teresa, it is not the big things in life that make a difference. To the contrary, it is the small things in life that we do to others that makes a huge difference. And surprisingly enough, the effect is two-way traffic.
This is to mean that such acts of kindness have a huge impact in the lives of those extending them as it does to those receiving them. Same as I would comment of Martin Luther King Jr. who found a lot of contentment in the fight for racial justice in an active discriminating country.
At the end of the day, the black slaves found racial justice and Martin Luther King played a huge role in history towards the racial justice movement in the world over to the point it cost him his life. A few days ago, the Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman died. A while, sometime preceding to his death, the great celebrity had been trolled on twitter after posting a picture of him after he lost weight.
Then after his death, people started wondering why they weren’t a bit kinder to him. It is now that most of them have realized that they were saying all the unjust words to a dying man. To take it a notch higher, some might have had a ‘hand’ in his death though their unkind words.
So, one person sat down and coined the phrase that we were blessed with two ears to hear more, two eyes to see more yet one mouth so that we can speak less. The whole transition then demands that you see more, hear more but then have to engage the mind properly before you can engage you mouth.
In wondering where the aspect of words come in, we also use one hand in writing which I can interpret loosely to mean thinking first before writing. Writing and speaking comes not except with words to use therein. Thinking on what words to use hence comes first. But that begs the question, do we always do that? And the answer is simple, we don’t.
We are a people quick to test the strength of words by first throwing them instead of thinking about the impact they will have first. We have the audacity to weigh in quickly on matters we know very least about.
We are less likely to be led by facts in commenting or addressing issues as opposed to reactive commenting. We seem to have forgotten that words once spoken can not be taken back. Same as words once written and read cannot be taken back even if they get erased.
This is very evident in the online platforms especially on social media. In today’s world, social media has given people an easier way to pour their hearts out. It becomes even messier when personal differences are brought online and other parties not in the mix from the very start are invited to weigh in. Out of experience, they weigh in ‘properly.’
The same applies to twitter as it happened to Chadwick Boseman. People say anything, anyhow they wish as long as they say what is in their minds. The effect of their words is never part of their worry. So people react online and end up breaking marriages and families of which they don’t care.
How I wish they could take a moment and infuse passion and logic into the matters they react to before doing so. I have had instances when friends as well as other people I have interacted with at some point in this life have come and reminded me of words, often unkind, I spoke to them in times past and how they affected them. The effect is often large given the fact that they carry them in heart up to present days. I always feel guilty and wonder why I didn’t think about those words before I spoke them then.
But as it is always, I find out that it is already too late. The damage is done, often the victims have healed and moved on. And trying to mend fences might end up causing more damage especially with fragile hearts.
If we want to know the effect of words, politicians are the best bet. They get judged by what they say. In the age of advanced technology, there is a phrase one of my tech buddies reminds me about often that the internet doesn’t forget.
If the internet doesn’t forget, what makes us think that people do forget on the other hand. Words have power. Words breaks families. Words penetrate the thickest walls. Words kill. But in as much as words do all that, we should remember that words at the same time bring live. Words foster unity. Words build broken walls and bridges.
How we use our words is what matters at the end of the day. How we say them out will determine our kindness to others. What words we choose to use matters so much as how we use them, how we say them as well as when we use them. Context is as important as the words themselves.
It thus calls that we become very careful with our words. Before we speak them, let us engage our brains first. Before we write them down for others, let us ask ourselves what effect they will have on them. It is important to think our words before we speak out and write them.
So, the next time you want to open and engage your mouth or pen or keyboard, engage the brain first. That way, you will abate destruction before it happens. Before you throw that word, indeed it is wise to think about it first.