Our words can and do change the world. I believe this with all my heart.
Today in our church’s Sunday message, we were challenged to be mindful of our conversations for the next few weeks. Could we be aware of what is said at all times and eliminate any negative talk from conversations? Of course, it is possible. And I believe the words we use (whether verbal or through the written word) can even change the course of the world.
Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, was interviewed on NPR this morning. She shared the research which proves that there is a direct link between a politician’s words (or any leader’s words) and violence. (e.g. bombs in the mail.) The phenomenon of virulent political rhetoric leading to physical acts of hate is something that has not been seen in modern political history until it began in 2016. Words have power to change the course of history.
Now I realize that I am NOT a politician, political leader or anyone who is in the public eye. But I am a human being in connection with other human beings and I know how words used in frustration, fear or anger can also change the course of history. I believe this is true of us all. A sarcastic comment made because I am in an uncomfortable situation is never appropriate. Sarcasm comes from a fear rooted in the past.
Realizing this has set me up for the challenge. Can I do it? Could we all do it? What if there were no negative or derogatory words used in the media, tweeted out, or written in other social media posts. Imagine if it was just the opposite. Nothing but love, compassion and care for our fellow human being. Can we do it? I think we can.