What Happens In This House Blog
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Remember the saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? As I look back at those words that can't be farthest from the truth. I understand the concept that if you are physically harmed, you can heal; however, if someone says harmful words, that should not bother you as much. Words carry power and have the potential to heal or hurt. I'm sure you can remember when someone sent a word your way, and it stuck with you, good, bad or indifferent. It may have been the first time we received a truly accurate compliment or the time a friend or sibling called us a name, but either way, it stuck. This experience reminds us that what we say has weight and power and that being conscious means being aware of how we use words.
Many of us within the SPAA organization that I am a part of, are authors and/or speakers. As our fearless leader Dr. Wilkins teaches us, "The Privilege of the Platform," our words have the power to make or break a person or situation. We have an obligation to our audience to make sure we are not taking advantage of others' vulnerability for our own agendas. We can use the words to address the most problematic issues that matter, at least to me, such as mental health, inequality in all forms, racism, violence, and environmental issues. Last year showed us we could also use those words to incite riots, fear and create violence in the world. Either way, words make a change.
When we choose our words carefully before we speak, we must do it meaningfully; we must do things that matter. We must do them from a place of compassion, education, and understanding. Our words have more integrity; when we take time to center ourselves before speaking, we truly begin to harness the power of speech. Then our words can be one of healing and light and create positive feelings for those who receive them. In the end, "sticks and stones can break your bones, and words CAN hurt you."