Article in brief: The author expresses the need to put a worth on every word uttered by oneself.
We all grew up on a nursery rhyme that states, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Personally, I find this statement to be full of lies.It’s true, sticks and stones may break bones but words have the power to kill us. They can break us emotionally and that damage is far worse than the physical one as the physical damage can be mended. People can easily get influenced, manipulated and even moved by words, so who’s to say they have no power to hurt others?
According to several dictionaries, the word “word” means “A single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence.”
It’s clearly presented in reliable sources that words have meaning to them. There’s no such thing as plain words. They can be painful whether intended or not. For example; calling a person with Down syndrome retard, or an overweight person fat is not only rude, but also hurtful. To some it might look like stating facts, but in reality it’s just creating an internal hole of self-pity in someone and turning them vulnerable.
Labels aren’t okay either. Labels can lead to emptiness, depression and in some cases suicide. Suffering from a certain thing doesn’t make people any less human. No one has the right to even use negative words to describe a person, as it’s a form of abuse. In other words, labeling is just a fancy synonym for bullying.
People often take the words they say for granted. In most situations, people utter a set of words without acknowledging the trace they leave behind. Whether it’s realized or not, the aftermath is quite severe.
When those victims of bullying are left in solitude, all they think about is what they got called with on that certain day. At that point, they’re left alone with their inner demons to take their toll on them. We need to start watching the words that are spoken through our lips because they usually have a strong effect on others.
Looking at it from a scientific perspective, people tend to forget compliments easily but seem to remember harmful words for a lifetime. The brain does so because we’re basically made that way. Receiving compliments produces oxytocin; a hormone that makes us feel good where as receiving insults produces cortisol; a hormone that causes stress.
I have a friend who starved and cut herself which gradually developed into eating disorders as well as depression at a young age because people weren’t taking her feelings into consideration. They thought she was fat, ugly and unintelligent and they never missed a chance to express that to her. Their words could have caused her death if it wasn’t for some positive people around her.
Whoever said words contain emptiness is quite the delusional person. We need to step it up, and act positively. Simply don’t talk to people in a manner that you’d personally hate. It really wouldn’t harm anyone to use kinder versions of words. We all wish for a better world and in order to achieve that we have to start with ourselves.
Alia is an AUS student double majoring in International Studies and English literature. She is also the author of Alatash fictional novel. Her main goal is to make a change and empower the youth. Her column is meant to help the younger generations deal with tough situations. It was given that title as hidden promises is what us teenagers often believe; false promises.
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