Understanding Violence in words

Day by day, the language in public sphere shows increasing signs of violence in words, angry, insulting, humiliating slurs are used with impunity in the public forums, in personal lives, at institutions, all in the name of being open and straightforward!

Really, why is it necessary to call each other names to put across a point.

Why should tones of expression be so loud and cutting?

What is the point in using third rate, uncivilized language?

Personally, I have often been criticized for being ‘goody goody’, the phrase will stay in my mind forever, when some of the teachers in my department chose to complain to my director about my misbehavior. It was seen as a problem that I don’t lose patience or get annoyed easily.

Well, that was then but seriously, ‘my sugar coated words’ apparently has destroyed the life and the living of my spouse, that was another barb. Interesting I thought, considering how I was trying to prep someone up and be there in a very difficult time.

I spent more than a decade and half in absolute fear of being shouted at and humiliated in public. It never occurred to me at that time that I need not take this as I did believe that something was seriously wrong with me. Walking out of the stress and abuse alone put things into perspective for me and well, I realized that I was in a very abusive relationship too late!

Yet it is true that my refusal to speak angrily or lose my temper or shout is still seen as a weakness, a sham, a put on, a farce and so on.

I have never tried to explain myself. But I do abhor violence in words, to children, to adults, to strangers, in social media, and this does make my life difficult since I struggle to express my annoyance, or pain or disappointment many a time.

I am sure it is true for many of us, who choose to be careful of the words we use and how we use them and to whom. It is not a weakness really. The world has enough of those who perpetrate hate and violence so it will be a good change to have some of us who are extremely cautious of how we express ourselves.

I remember feeling guilty of this inability to react to people or respond in the moment.I felt guilty of my so called ‘diplomacy’ that I eventually distanced myself from many who I could not understand, that my life circle has come to have too few in number, perhaps that is how it is meant to be!

But if you too believe that a word is so powerful and should be well articulated, consider this:

*Don’t speak under the influence of emotions. Compose yourself, think through and speak quietly and calmly.

*Don’t react to everything around you. Not everything needs your opinion, so just let it be.

*Our responses are guided by our state of mind,so even when something around you annoys too much, think whether your agitated response has any value to the event, individual or situation.

* Using slang is common, but refrain if possible from too many negative words. What you speak to others, tends to stick to you too.

*Ask yourself do you want to waste your energy, your precious life energy in shouting at someone? You really need not do this, it is harmful to you as it is to others.

*Does the other person understand that your anger is an expression of your concern? If it is, well, you may sometimes, very sparingly, let your anger off the hook, but be careful to rein it in quickly or it becomes a habit.

If you too think being sweet in speaking is a problem, let go of that thought. It is ok to be mindful of what you utter and how and to whom, in fact you are doing a great service by not adding to pain, abuse and indifference that already exists.

To those who ridicule you for exercising restraint in words, you may ask them to look up the universally acknowledged, ‘ashtanga marga’ propounded by none other than Buddha!


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