“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” – Siddhartha Gotoma or Buddha
“Words are powerful, my friend…they are used to inspire people to do good or used to incite violence. You can’t say the words you use doesn’t have any impact and people are liable for their own actions, which may be true, but we all know that influential people can inspire us to do good things and unfortunately bad things too whether intended or not, let’s make sure we use the right words that inspire and uplift people.”
There has been much debate about the rhetoric and words used by the media and pundits. In fact, we are seeing many point fingers at each other stating one or the other may have cause the deadly rampage of a deranged individual in Arizona. I really wanted to focus on a statement I’ve always used and probably rehashed somehow from someone else, “Words are powerful.”
Recently, people have argued that a person’s actions can’t be swayed by the words that someone spouts. We cannot blame those who may light the fire of anger that turns into physical violence. I’d have to argue against the notion that there is no accountability for the words we use. If we are so quick to give credit to inspirational leaders who have inspired us through their words then we should be as quick to damn those who use words commonly used to incite violence and retaliation.
The words used by Hitler that swayed a nation in justifying the gathering and eventual death of millions of Jews is a prime example. He didn’t hold a gun to the German’s head. He used words to get in their head.
Now back to my original point…we cannot easily and freely state that a person acted on their own free of influence. And yes a mentally ill person can possibly be more swayed by words, miscontrued or not to act violently towards others. So be careful about the words and imagery you use.
So enough about the pundits and politicos, let’s make sure WE use the right words ourselves. In fact, I’ve been reading a number of blog comments and tweets and it’s not a pretty picture for our future.