A Friday Thought to Chew On: Mindful Words

A Friday Thought to Chew On: Mindful Words

There are many things in this world to become angry about, and all of us do. We might be completely appalled at the way a particular segment of the population is treated. There may be some who operate based on a premise that there can be no recourse for their actions, and we sit here watching them get away with one thoughtless or damaging act over and over. And all of these things can stir our heart, whip us into a frenzy of frustration or disappointment about the human race, and may leave us simply feeling completely…powerless.

For most weeks since I’ve begun this Friday ‘Thought to Chew on,’ I knew what my topic was going to be early on in the week. Some great epiphany or life lesson revealed itself to me and in that moment of clarity (yes, they really do happen, amazingly so), I knew my subject matter. Today is a little different.

Today’s topic isn’t so much one particular idea to share with you but it has been stirred by many images and words I’ve seen hurled around this week — on the news, on Twitter among people I know, and even among some people I know on my not-so-virtual timeline — you know, the “real-life” one.

Unfortunately with the convenience and easy access that social media and any online interaction afford us come some drawbacks. I won’t even begin to go into one of my biggest pet peeves of all, people’s growing inability to do real research and rely solely on the likes of Wikipedia as their ultimate source of wisdom. (Don’t get me started!)

I have a growing concern that our online capabilities and reach have drained any good judgment in how we choose our words, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve certainly been a culprit of this, too. We have this beautiful, open platform that is too tempting to leave silent. So we speak. And we say it. All of it. Everything we’re thinking and feeling, even those things we probably would be best to keep to ourselves.  And if we’re news organizations and we can report it, we do. Even if in any other era of our time, we might deem it not news-worthy or even inappropriate. We have space to fill — that quiet zone to stock with noise. So we report what isn’t really worthy of reporting. Because we can.

The ability to hurl words at other people or about other people — true, partially true or not at all — is a weighty responsibility, and one that I’m finding a larger number of people aren’t actually prepared to take on with any real skill or respect. We’re human and can let our emotions overtake our good judgment. But perhaps before we go out to our various online channels — our Facebook accounts, our Twitter feeds, our emails and Google+ circles, even our Pinterest boards and Instagram walls — we should step back and ask ourselves before we raise our voices or convey our thoughts via words or imagery — is what I’m about to transmit how I want to be remembered or thought of? Is this really representative of who I am — as a person?  Or as a writer, particularly for those who spin words for a living?

Be mindful of the words you put out into the universe today and don’t lose sight of the fact that they are not being heard solely by the specific person or target audience you are aiming for…  they are being absorbed by the world, by us all. And in many cases, they are being judged and evaluated for their credibility…  as are you.

I hope as you go out into your Friday, that you make it a good one, but that you take your time…with your steps, with your decisions, and with your words.  ~ ck

2 Comments

  1. Careless spoken or written words can hurt beyond belief….sometimes staying hidden away from social media can be a blessing. A lesson learnt….exposing yourself to the world leaves you open for emotional scarring

    • chriskuhn

      Aww, it is true that when people aren’t careful with their words, it can cause serious damage, sometimes beyond repair. I suppose we have to proceed with caution here in social media as much as anywhere else. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here with me. I truly appreciate it. ~ chris

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