Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
The power of emotions and words will never cease to astound me. Recently, I witnessed a couple of relationships where problems stemmed from either words that were used, or the inflection of said words.
As a writer, I understand the power of words. A combination of words, when put together in the right way at just the right time, can inspire us, devastate us, anger us, make us laugh, make us cry, start wars, make peace, bring us love, or bring us death. Words are my favorite playground.
However, I also understand that words are intangible and lifeless. That is what fascinates me. It is not the speaker that inspires, angers, hurts, etc. It is the interpretation that the listener takes that is what gives the words life.
Let's take the "vulgar" words that we know: Fuck, shit, asshole, bitch, piss, slut, cock, pussy, fag, nigger, cunt. These are words that can get someone into serious trouble (not to mention some huge FCC fines). But if we wanted to, we as a society could make these words obsolete. All we'd need to do is say, "Abracadabra! Those words aren't offensive anymore." If we wanted to, we could say that the new vulgar words are "banana" and "scat", and then characters in movies would be saying, "You're a scatting banana, and I'll put a scatting bullet in your scatting head!"
I was inspired recently by a good friend of mine who was angered at what their significant other had said about them. Then after telling me about it, they suddenly said, "You know what? I'm over it. I'm not mad anymore." It really is as easy as that. They understood, as I do, that words are only as strong as you make them.
So I send a message to everyone out there who find themselves easily offended or hurt by what those around them may say (a group of which I have been an occasional member of): You don't have to listen to everything that is said to you. If you don't like what someone says, ignore the words. Resist the human temptation to indulge in our immediate emotions. Just say, "Whatever" and move on. In that one move, you will have killed those words. Think of what would have happened if millions of Germans simply said, "Don't listen to that nutty Hitler guy," or if people stopped analyzing Oscar speeches. A dismissal is more effective than a rebuttal.
Just remember, it's not the speaking that causes the problem. It's the listening.
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