Friday, January 14, 2011

Words to Live By?

Oy. What a week. I would like everyone to repeat after me, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." I'm not talking about chasing your dreams, or following your heart--please continue to do that! I'm talking about self-control, or a lack thereof regarding the written/spoken word. For example, just because you can rant and rave, doesn't mean you should. I know the "freedom of speech" crowd will cry foul here, but a little restraint goes a long way. Yes we have the freedom to run our mouths at any given time (blog anyone?--I get the irony, trust me). This does not, I repeat NOT, mean you should each and every time. We all have opinions and the beauty is that we can voice them to our heart's content. The problem is that sometimes it's to the dismay of all around us. If your opinion is negative, confrontational or a big verbal slap in the face, please remind yourself, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." Yes, you could let those words fly. But to what purpose? To hurt someone or shove your opinion down their throat? That's not a great way to get your point across.

Don't get me wrong, I love that we all have an opinion. It's one of many things that shapes our individuality. But if you jump on your pedestal and spew your opinion for all to hear, what are you accomplishing? I don't know about you, but I tune a person out when their opinion stops being mature and authentic, and falls under the "I'm an angry, raving lunatic" category. And I speak from experience. I have been known to let my opinion fly, foolishly believing I could verbally brow beat someone to my way of thinking. It's an understatement to say it didn't work. I respect that you and I may disagree. In fact, I welcome it. I won't think less of you if you have a different opinion. It's what makes you, you! But if your words lack responsibility and respect for others, people might lose respect for you. Regardless of whether or not they agree. Your opinion then falls of deaf ears.

The old saying "actions speak louder than words" is so true. However, in the age of Facebook, blogs, Twitter and the like, our words have the ability to reach a huge audience. As a writer, I believe words are incredibly powerful. But the delivery makes all the difference!  What message do you want to get across? Hopefully not one full of venom. You're responsible for the words that come out of your mouth, AND the words you post online. Once it's out there, you can't take it back. So please think twice about your words before you speak/write/post them. Make sure you're willing to stand by them. And more importantly, make sure they're a reflection of who you are.

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