Thursday, February 16, 2017

WORDS HURT (They Also Leave Scars!)

(They Also Leave Scars!)

I first addressed this timely
topic in a 2012 feature story.
However, I believe that it
still warrants discussion.

"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." FYI, this age-old saying is an absolute lie...

I awoke early one chilly morning about a week ago. Per my typical 6am routine, I let the dogs out, poured myself a cup of hot, fresh, caramel-flavor-enhanced coffee and then cozied-up to the screen illuminating my home office. As I sat at my desk, perusing the avalanche of emails from the night before, I was amped to discover a message notifying me of my latest 5-Star Amazon customer / reader book review. HOORAY!

But when I checked my email again, after I'd returned home from driving my teenage buddy to school, I'd received a contrasting sentiment from a seemingly random source — someone who felt compelled to reach out from behind a shroud of cyber anonymity and convey to me that I'm a "cheap D-list faggot" and a "slimy fake." Hmm, anybody care to guess which of these two emails has affected me most?

(That one's gonna leave a scar!)
Look, I'm certainly no stranger to unkind words. In fact, I remember it like it was yesterday — the first time I was called "stupid" at age five. And the memory of being called "fat" at age eight still stings as much as the first time I was called a "faggot" at age ten. Yep, words DO hurt — they also leave scars.

But in the spirit of full disclosure, I'll confess that in the past, I've also been guilty of speaking unkind words against others — hateful and hurtful words that can't be un-spoken. And if I (now) feel sick, disgusted, ashamed and heartbroken for having spoken such words, I can only imagine the hurt and scars I've put on the ones to whom I was speaking.

Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) tells us that, "the tongue can bring death or life." Hence, I choose my words more wisely these days — using them to now offer others the same kindness, comfort and compassion as I'd like to receive myself. #WordsHurt #SpeakLife

-Christopher Long
(February 2017)

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2012 installment of

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