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…a little less hate…a little more meaning….

December 27, 2013

Words have power, they have meaning.  Of course today they don’t seem to pack the same punch.  We have become careless with our words, both in how we use them to communicate to the world around us and with how we use them internally.

I am most conscious of this fact when I am writing poetry, when I labor over every word, every syllable for meaning, for sound, for effect.  More and more often however, I am aware of this failure in my daily conversations and interactions online.

The careless way we toss around negativity and disparaging comments on everything from our own appearance to the intelligence or beauty of another is appalling. In some cases, it’s even considered funny, and I’ll own up to the fact that with some of my best friends our biggest laughs come from putting each other down…but more and more recently, I’ve seen that no matter how funny it is, no matter how much we laugh, no matter how much we tell ourselves that the other person knows we’re joking…something sticks.

It gets in the cracks and sits.  It festers.  It grows.  And most of the time we aren’t even aware of it.

I’m not a big fan of new year’s resolutions, but I think in the coming months I’m going to challenge myself to eliminate the frivolous use of powerful words…words like “hate” and “huge” and “disgust” and “fail”.  They are all words that have a meaning and I need to go back to using them as they are meant, not as though they are just throw away words that don’t have the capacity to sting when they’re thrown carelessly at someone.

Which means it’s time to remove phrases like “I hate when that happens” over something little and “I fail at everything” when in reality I’ve only failed to accomplish one, usually very minor, thing.

Words have power.  And we need to remember that.  We need to respect that.  And we need to respect each other.  I challenge you to do the same, eliminate the frivolous use of powerful words in the coming year.  Start with the word “hate”…don’t stop using it, just use it properly.  You might be surprised to find you feel happier and you “hate” things less than you thought you did.


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