The saying is that actions speak louder than words. I have to ask though, what about the power of our words?
I don’t want to make this a long drawn out post but I do want to draw attention to the power behind what we say. Growing up I was not told how smart I was or pretty I was…it was quite the opposite. I was mocked for crying and my weight until I was in my teens. Then I was called names, slut, bitch, cunt…to list a few. The impact of these words defined how I perceived myself for much of my adult life. I am guessing I am not alone in many regards. I must disclaimer here that I am not innocent on this front either and I probably have hurt people with my words too, so I will not claim innocence here.
Here is my plea though. With all that is happening in the world at the moment, shouldn’t we be looking at what we are saying and ask; ‘how would I feel if this was said to me’. Of course this means consciously choosing what we say which may also mean reflection. Both of these take time and are not quick; which in this culture of click and browse means time away from our social media programming. Many can call this mindfulness and others may call it paying it forward. Whatever it is, I am going to work on the power of my words and what I want them to say about me.
I can not help but think about how this world is formed by you and I. It is shaped and mapped out by our actions and words. Some of this is also in the silence when we say nothing at all and stand by as injustices happen. In the 1950’s men and women began to stand up for equality across racial lines in the south. Their actions and words marked a pivotal point in time when violence bared down on them, they did not speak ill or swear or commit acts of aggression. It is part of their legacy now to us and we should do right by our activist predecessors and to our communities to use our words to shape a better world.
So on Martin Luther King Day I want each of you that reads this to set forth and remember that our words speak for our soul. Let them speak truthfully.