IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
This week more than ever, my social media feed has been filled with posts surrounding untimely, mysterious and unexpected deaths, as well as varying reactions from netizens on announcements of candidates to run for the presidency.
Posts are more passionate than ever, with words piercing through the reader and leaving a greater impact – or, at least I have noticed. This is when it dawned on me. We often overlook and underestimate the power words carry. It is another “small” thing we take for granted, not realizing that it has within it the capacity to change so much.
How one uses words can deceive, can alter perspective, can focus, and ultimately, can paint a picture of the way we want the audience to view what it is we are presenting.
The older I become, the more I realize the prudence that comes with being frugal with your words. Silence, for instance, can mean as much (and sometimes even have a greater impact) as a reaction, or to make a statement than a plethora of words that are most carefully chosen and well-strung words. Not everything merits a wordy reaction, and I have come to realize that the words one uses tells a lot about a person.
Choose your words wisely because so much can be read into words, most especially when uttered in a most emotional and vulnerable moment. One must calculate when is the proper time to use words as retaliation and armor versus when it is more proper to remain silent. A wise soul once told me, “less said, less done. Nothing said, nothing done.” Most especially in the era of social media, the popularity of screenshots is a thing. This is evidence. And this, can either make you, or break you.
In as much as you must be careful with what you post and put out there, you too must be careful with how you say things, and how your sentences are constructed. Once it has been posted, almost always assume that if it revolves around something potentially controversial that screenshots will be taken and circulated. Thus, make sure to only say things you are prepared to stand for, you are proud of, and you will not regret saying in the end. My cardinal rule always stands: if you are unsure, or have the slightest doubt, then do not. If you have had to think twice about saying something publicly, then there is a reason why. Make sure your cause is greater than, and will always precede that reason.
In the same light, people have become so nasty and unhinged at times because communicating through SMS or messaging applications can be dehumanizing, and can sometimes portray wrong intent or emotion. Simply because you are not able to see the person physically, it sometimes is so easy to dehumanize, misinterpret or add meaning to a simple statement. In the same way that one must be vigilant with the words one puts out there, one must also carefully dissect and read information. It is so easy to blend fact and opinion these days, and it is our responsibility to decipher between both.
And therein lies the power in words. They are powerful, no doubt, because they can hurt and make all the difference in how someone feels – as human beings, something we carry-on and remember for lengths of time. Be careful with your words. Use them wisely, and only to and for those who are worthwhile. Words make a statement, and can make all the difference.