Monday, January 24, 2011

Words Have Power

Words have power, which is the premise behind magic, behind political rhetoric, behind the media.  We use them to share our ideas, to connect with others, to influence our realities.  By speaking, we are projecting the energy of our thoughts into the Universe.

With power, comes responsibility.  Once uttered, words cannot be truly taken back.  You can apologize for your words or defend them, but you cannot undo them.  When we use violent rhetoric to motivate change, we are promoting violent acts.

In the United States, we are guaranteed the freedom of speech, but we do not regular engage in discourse about the responsibilities that come with that freedom.  Just because you can say something, doesn’t mean you should.  When we speak, especially in the public arena, we need to understand that we own our words and the fact they can be used in ways we never intended.  A certain female politician has denied that she has any responsibility for the murder and attempted murder of people in Arizona; she is trying to convince us and herself that she does not share guilt.  I disagree.  Violence is not just physical.  Violence is psychological and it is social.  When violent metaphors are used to promote change in politics, it should be expected that violent acts will follow.  Words often become action.

My point is simple.  Remember that when you speak you are beginning the creation of a new reality.  Own your words; contemplate them before you send them, and all of their energy, out into the world.  Be responsible for your words, just as you are responsible for your actions.  Do no harm, lest it come back to you.

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