Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Are We Cultivators or Killers?

At times I’ve been told:

“You’ll regret this decision.”
“I don’t trust anyone who smiles as much as you do.”
“You’re a dumb blond.”
“What’s THAT supposed to mean?”

At times I’ve told myself:

“It’s impossible.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“What’s the point in trying.”
“People will laugh at me.”

That old adage, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Yeah, bullsh**. My examples are just that. You probably have a host of your own.

That’s part of my point. There’s misery everywhere and some argue there will always be suffering in the world. If you’re not strong enough inside, if you don’t have the means to see the destruction of these ideas and if you can’t pull yourself back out of the darkness…

These words can kill.

Whether they come from within your own mind or from outside, these words can kill your hopes, your dreams and your ideals. Some have jumped off bridges because of killing words. These firebombs can take your control and incinerate it, leaving you at the mercy of ever-growing doses of destruction. For once you start to believe them, their strength grows like wildfire.

Words are alive. They move. Out of my mind, down my arms and across the keyboard, my words seek a habitat to thrive in. Words out of a parent’s mouth go into the ears of their children where they get processed and then move out again to classroom and personal friends where they can breed and multiply across space and time. Whether we’re rich or poor, old or young, our words live on long after they exit our bodies. For better...or worse.

I agree we can’t eliminate suffering. However, we can make choices every day that, at the very least, don’t contribute to the overall supply that’s hanging around.

Tiny choices, like practicing saying something nice in the mirror or greeting a neighbor or offering someone a cup of coffee and our ear to hear their worries, all add up. They are a gift to something outside of ourselves. They build our empathy- our understanding of others. Small-scale positive choices warm hearts, including our own, and become significant: we become cultivators, not killers.

If we do that, then the urge to demean someone with killing words like those I listed at the beginning will not win in our hearts and minds. Those germs won’t exit our mouths to unleash their blights on the world. If we use cultivating words consistently, then when we are hit with killing ones, they won’t cause our very foundations to crumble beneath us.

Oh, they’ll hurt! However, we’ll be strong enough to acknowledge them for what they are and continue moving forward on our own chosen path.

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