Monday, 15 June 2015

Felicity of Expression
"Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another." - Napoleon Hill

The idea that words inflict no wounds is, to me, ludicrous. I try to live my life by the golden rule, the words of wisdom from the big man himself. I am of course referring to Albus Percievel Wolfic Brian Dumbledore and his particularly apt life quote, "Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it". Mind=blown.

Language is simultaneously an art form and a mathematical equation. In perfect synchronicity, these give rise to linguistic masterpieces; poetry, songs and books that inspire, console and uplift us. Assembled in a clumsy combination however, words can strike a chord, and a bum note at that.

Unlike a physical attack, a hurtful remark does not leave the victim outwardly damaged, but is equally detrimental to the individual's health. Vulnerability, insecurities and doubts can be massively exacerbated when an external source critiques what may well have been an internal worry. If you tell someone something often enough, they will inevitably start to believe it, so why would you want this to be something negative? Why would you want to be the reason someone feels they are not smart enough, not pretty enough, not good enough? From Ellen DeGeneres' famous catch phrase "Be kind to one another" to the Dali Lama's message, "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them", the promotion of kindness is everywhere, endorsed by many, but on a daily basis are we mere mortals practicing this? Whether we chose to acknowledge it or not, on some level the opinions of others do matter to us. I think it is particularly difficult in this country to know when teasing jibes turn into hurtful comments. "Banter" is something which is imbued in Irish culture and is all well and good, great in fact, as it means no one takes themselves too seriously, but I think it is vital to know when to lay off and not to cross the line into spiteful territory. Some things, once said, cannot be unsaid and cannot be unheard by the object of the criticism. By the same token, I am not encouraging people to be disingenuous. I am merely encouraging people to be mindful, be aware.

In saying this, I am fully aware that things I may have said in the past may have caused others offence but I will continue to endeavour to select words that remedy rather than injure. In short, no one truly knows what sequence of words will trigger someone else into a spiral of doubt and self-questioning, so my point is, just like the label on a box containing fragile objects: Handle with care.

Amy. x

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