‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’
How many times have you said that rhyme to yourself or to another in the face of unpleasant criticism. Words have power, there’s no doubt about it and used in the wrong way can cause a damage that nobody else may see.
Trust me i know.
I’ve always been someone who considers my words before i say them but i’m also a big believer in telling the truth when it’s needed. Words once said cannot be taken back and even the simplest slip of the tongue may never be forgotten. I paused as i wrote that and let a few verbal demons ping pong around my brain before i squash them down to concentrate. I long ago learned never to speak in anger for these can be the harshest words of all, choosing instead to stay silent until i am calm. A fact i know has frustrated more than one person in the past.
Yes you need to be so careful when choosing to vocalise those thoughts that pop into your head unbidden. Pause for a moment to consider how you should like to hear those very words said to you. Realise that once spoken these cannot be taken back.
Lately though i begin to wonder if society has made us afraid to say anything at all. How many times have you hesitated before speaking even though you know that telling the truth is the best thing to do? Hesitated because you don’t want to seem harsh or have others think badly of you for doing so. Sometimes you smile and bite your tongue and pretend that everything is okay, even though you know deep down it really isn’t but you’re too afraid to say so. Words hurt but sometimes lack of words can hurt even more.
Today i hesitated. I automatically clicked to comment on a post i saw on Facebook. Nothing nasty or unkind but maybe a little more honest and blunt than would be well received. So i hesitated. Lingered, torn between my instinct to tell the truth and the realisation that the truth is not always well liked. So i bowed to the cotton wool society of today and deleted what i wrote, leaving the sugar coaters to write what would be deemed acceptable.
I caved. I folded. I bit my tongue and conformed to societies modern rules. I know that the person i was replying to would be all the better for hearing the truth but that isn’t how we do things any more. We lie and we avoid the confrontation as though that in itself can change everything.
We gloss, we glitter and pink sparkle everything until the world is fluffy and right. We bury our heads and choose to ignore that which may hurt even if in the long run we are hurt even more by it’s absence. For myself i think i would always choose truth. Words hurt but i would always rather know the reality of any situation that skip around blindly in ignorance. Sometimes i think back to the times i have said to somebody ‘WHY?’ , only to be told the age old reply ‘I didn’t want to hurt you’. Its funny how many times i look back and find that for as many times there have been words that have hurt, there have been others where saying nothing hurts more. It always does in the end.
Words are powerful. Words can wound and heal, strengthen and weaken, lie and tell the truth. Perhaps it’s time to use them and stand up for good old freedom of speech, be honest but be careful with that honesty and learn a different way to be able to speak our minds.
Maybe i will post my opinion after all.