Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Careful... Careful What You Say

Shall we talk about our words... and how we get to a place called abuse? It all starts with a thought that tells you that you are more educated/religious/intelligent/clean/loving/faithful than the next guy.

How then does it escalate to uncontrollable levels?
From every thought comes an action - either in your control, or not. The action may come before a word or statement.

To abuse another is to fulfil a sense of inadequacy in oneself, to lunge out to some innocent party instead of working on oneself. It is a great weakness we have. Abuse is like a roller coaster that starts slowly and gathers momentum as it goes.

My ex started abusing me by saying innocent sounding things like 'You are smart but....'. 'You will not be able to get that because you're too'. 'You are not that intelligent despite your education', etc. 'The shoes are nice but your feet are too...'. At first I took it in good faith, working on the issues he mentioned, trying to improve, improve, improve - even on the wonderful things that I had cherished before I met him. Wonderful gifts that God had so graciously given me.

The roller coaster moved a notch and before I knew it, he was on his knees crying for forgiveness after slapping me around. I forgave him and went on 'improving'.

With time, the roller coaster was in full swing, and the real beatings started; slaps and a punch here and there. Before I knew it he went all out to beating me and my kids like he was killing a poisonus snake. No punch or kick was too hard for him. During those times, he was enraged and wild. Neighbours, relatives and friends could not calm him down until his steam was spent on us.

But I digress....

My message here is be careful what you say. There are things that hurt - like telling the blind man how ugly he is, or insulting the cripple for his disability. The things that hurt the most are things that are personal and can not be changed, like tribe and skin colour. Things that can not be washed off like warts, that one can not afford to have removed or like stained teeth that cannot, for one reason or another, be bleached. Things like poverty that can not be immediately resolved, or disability. Issues like religion that can be discussed but not imposed, or personal beliefs that don't really hurt you or anyone else. These are personal things; personal to each individual. If we remember that, we keep the peace. Remember also, that God created each and everyone unique in His eyes, to add on to the beauty of earth. Live and let live.

Some things are actually much better left unthought. Harness your thoughts, and immediately something comes into your mind that is destructive, replace that thought with a pleasant, positive one. Live and let live. And if you live with someone whose unchangeable habits really irritate you, please leave. Yes, I mean, LEAVE.

Abuse starts with a thought, escalates to a word and explodes in an action. The word may seem so innocent at the time, but it leaves the other party unhappy and insulted even if they pretend it's all ok - it leaves the other person vulnerable. For example, a negative comment to a spouse of a sexual nature can leave him/her unable to perform, maybe even destroying a marriage irreparably. An abuser will always add another veiled insult as the abused gets more vulnerable. That is what sets off the roller coaster ride.

Be careful what you say. The tongue can light a fire that destroys a lifetime of good. It starts with us in our individual capacity, goes to our homes, and moves with the stealth of a thief in the night to our country.

Be careful...


Farmgal said...

Been there..and no one should!

Anonymous said...