"She called me a donkey!"
Tears streaming down her face, Gy threw herself into my arms one evening after playing with her friends. While I was taken aback by the outburst of emotion, I could understand the sadness that must have hit her when a close friend chose to offload her anger by labeling her an animal of the stubborn and mulish variety.
As I was trying to find the words to console her, she looked at me and continued, 'You should be upset too, since that means you are a donkey as well.'
Now I was faced with logic and anger melding together to throw me off the axis, but I merely stroked her hair, wiped her tears and replied, "Well, let's see what we can do about that." Turning to trusty friend, Google Images, we typed in 'Cute baby donkeys' in the search bar. Since we agreed that mom and daughter both belong to the species (temporarily) I found this one the cutest!
|Pic courtesy: visualise.us|
Her sadness dissolved, she skipped back to play, while I was left musing on the power that words wield. As writers, bloggers, parents, we have a solid responsibility to choose our words with care. What we say today can make or break a relationship, as much as it can build bridges and heal those open wounds of hurt and resentment.
I had written this poem a few days ago and shared it on my Facebook page to show that what we leave behind should be a testimony to our character.
What can be dismissed today as children being mean to each other is one thing. Adults are a different matter. Technically, we are the more mature of the lot. Yet, how easily do our children forgive their friends while we hold on to grudges, resentment and outspoken opinion. We never let go. We nurse those wounds over and over again, feeling sorry for ourselves and perhaps write a post on being the victim. I have done it myself.
Our rants, our angst, our unbridled fury find themselves flung out there in cyberspace on our blog pages when we feel wrong or victimised. Going back and reading the post I'd written horrified me! I have since disabled public viewing of that post.
That's when I realised something. We have such power in the words we use. How we choose to use them is clearly in our domain. Should we abuse them to inflict pain and vitriolic fury on another or gently implement them to apologise and move on?
There really should not be a question of debate here. The answer is clear.
Say what you want, but do it kindly. If you cannot do that, do it in private, in the corners of your being where the only one listening is your conscience.