Sticks and stones may brake bones, but words…
Contrary to popular belief, words do hurt, and a lot. I’m not even talking about bullying solely, which is a very touchy topic these days. Just look at the case of Rehtaeh Parsons in Nova Scotia, where the online bullying and distribution of a photo of her being gang raped drove the 17 year old to take her own life.
The incident propelled millions to protest and share her story. How can things escalate to the point when a whole entire school turns an incident of rape into a reason to bully and harass someone so diligently to the point that the girl had to move TOWNS in order to go to a different school? And thanks to Facebook and the internet, it followed her there. How did not a single person step up to defend her? Why wasn’t something done sooner to stop the harassment?
To me, someone who also grew up experiencing harassment from bullies throughout elementary school, I understand how words can cut.
But I also know they do more than cut. They shape thoughts and opinions, they inspire attitudes and mentalities, they sway individuals and move masses. In turn, you can use words to destroy lives, damage souls and spread lies that cause corruption and evil.
The power of words is a scary thing. Because misusing them is so easy.
I just reblogged a post by Rebecca Fraser-Thill of her advice to her students upon graduating, which was this:
She states that it’s one thing to tell her graduates to go out into the world and do good, but that advice is lacking. To truly create a brighter world, attempting to avoid harm on others is the true challenge, but a more beneficial one. I think about her advice when I ponder Rehteah’s bullying dilemma. All those people who chose to feed on the words of her bullies, and even those who stood silent and did nothing, caused harm. It took away a girls life.
See, that’s how Stigma spreads. Words. And I could apply that theory to any social stigma. In fact, I plan to do just that.
I have always been a writer deep down. Maybe not a fully realized writer, because I haven’t written enough to merit the title, but a writer non-the-less. And as a writer, I love WORDS.
I love words because even though they are powerful enough to destroy lives, in turn, they also have the power to change the world for the better too.
I look at all the evil and injustice in the world, how words are being used to do harm, and realize that you can fight fire with fire. I want to fight words with words.