I was taught at a very young age that "if you don't have any thing good to say then say nothing at all." As a child, I didn't understand the words of wisdom my mother was trying to impart onto me. But as I grew older, life experiences brought me much needed clarity. My mother was trying to help me understand the power of words.
Words are one of the deadliest weapons that human beings wield.
It is said that the power of life and death reside within the tongue. So you can either speak life onto your brothers and sisters or you can speak death. For a lot of us, we choose the latter.
I was about 16 years old when a close friend of mine came out the closet. I always had a feeling he was gay, so his confession really didn't come as a surprise. I placed my hand on his shoulder and told him I already knew and I continued to ask him whether or not he wanted to stay for dinner. It was only years later that he revealed to me that on the very night he came out the closet he was planning on killing himself, but because I had been so accepting of him the only reason why he didn't do it.
You have to imagine how completely off guard this caught me. I, at the age of 16, was the buffer between life and death for him and had our conversation played out just a little differently, he may had taken his own life.
It was through this revelation that I made a conscious decision when it came to the words I choose to use. I refuse to be an accessory to the destruction of another human being. I will not allow the words I use to be a transportation of death onto another person. This is a vow I made to myself.
But for a lot of people, such a vow would not be easy to keep given today's technology.
The internet, with its cloak of anonymity, has served as a haven for psychological warfare. People will spout off some of the most vile and hateful things because they feel embolden by being an anonymous user.
People feel they can say anything they want to say about a person and feel no consequence because they are hidden behind a computer screen. Just take for example the nasty things that were said about the physical features of Tia Mowry's beautiful baby boy, or the comments a select number of people made about Gabby Douglas' hair. A lot of people hate themselves and so they choose to spread their hatred by projecting it onto other people, mainly people they don't know.
Words are like daggers to a person's heart without the skin break or the bleeding. The wound is invisible, but trust me, it's just as fatal.