I was reminded about the power of words today and thought I would focus on that a bit. In Jamaica, most people like to say “words can’t hurt me” but I think they are lying to themselves. Watch Profile with Ian Boyne and you realize that most of the success stories were fueled by a hateful word. People become driven to prove others wrong about the negative things they say to or about them. Yes, becoming driven also results from other poor treatment.
Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble – Yehuda Berg.
I’m on my way to St. Thomas today, where I was born and raised and where I lived for 23 years and where I watched my mother endure many a hateful word thrown in her direction. Trust me, she was not only a victim, she dished as well as received. I grew up with an extended family and most times I went to bed not knowing if the day that would greet me would be good or bad. It mostly started out bad, bwoy dem people deh loved to curse at each other.
As I grew older I tried to show my mother how hurtful words can be and encouraged her to simply walk away and not respond when confronted. But words hurt! So when someone says something awful to you, you are going to feel the need to say something equally bad.
Hurt people do hurtful things
I have been verbally attacked many times and there was a point when I had to really fight the urge to respond in kind but I took the high road.
Always take the high road.
Since I rambled on longer than intended, I will end with this quote from Michelle Obama to further illustrate the power of words because her speech almost broke the internet 🙂