Nothing funny about my words tonight. They are inspired by my own life, and something that has been in the news and on my mind. There has been a story in the news lately about a young girl who killed herself. She was being bullied at school, reached a breaking point, and threw herself off a platform at an abandoned cement plant. I am the mother of two, I cannot imagine the anguish and pain of that girl’s family, but what haunts me more is the desperation that would drive a child to do what she did. I cannot stop thinking about her. The anonymity of the computer has allowed people to distance themselves. It is easy to write something awful when you don’t have to look the person in the face. It saddens me to the core to think about that little girl, she was only twelve. I wish it were just a matter of closing Facebook accounts, or shutting down emails, but it isn’t. It is amazing to me how thoughtless people can be with what they say, or how they say it. Insults cloaked in “jokes”, as if somehow calling words funny lessens the pain. It doesn’t. Saying something spoken doesn’t mean anything, you are wrong, it does to the person hearing it. I have had words spoken to me, or about me, that are well in the past, but live in my heart and mind as if it were today. It isn’t about holding on to the past, it is that the words hurt enough to brand themselves into my heart. I was bullied, I know that girl, I could have been her, any of us could be her, any of our children could be her. I have heard words spoken that cause me pain as they are inflicted on someone I care about. I feel powerless in their presence, there is no weapon in hand for me to knock away, I can only stand and listen as the air around me is poisoned. Don’t speak, stop and think. Parents need to choose their words carefully, think about what you say to your children, because they are yours does not give you license to inflict pain. You are the foundation of your child’s self-esteem. Even as we age we look to our parents to approve, to respect, to love us. Physical wounds may heal, but scars of the heart are permanent. I don’t believe that we can ever harden our hearts enough to make them invincible, or that we can ever grow old enough to not want to be loved, or cared about. Words are an easy weapon. Be watchful in anger, or in frustration. Choose your words wisely, when there are spoken words, an apology cannot erase them, and written words once read speak as well. Remember that what you say could very well be the last thing you say to someone. Living with words that were used to hurt another can scar your own heart as well.
For tonight there are words. Hateful, nasty, awful words, branded into the heart. I love words, but not those I have written here. Once again I turn to the words of another.
The Unspoken word never does harm.