“Word-Watching” – a word I conjured up to define keeping tabs on what people say to me and what I say to them also. It could be because elections are around the corner and politicians are doing their best to lure us in with enticing words and promises. It could be purely out of curiosity. Word-Watching (WW) has led me to one scary conclusion. We love to swear and curse (or cuss).
WE LIKE TO CURSE
“Curse” – To utter offensive words in anger or annoyance. Synonyms – SWEAR, blaspheme, take the Lord’s name in vain. It permeates almost every social setting, work, school, entertainment. This got me thinking about why we do it? Why do we like it so much?
Is it a rite of passage? Will people recognize you as an adult when you can swear like everyone else?
IS IT A RITE OF PASSAGE?
Is it a tool to blend in? Sound like everyone else and no one will bother to search deeper and discover our inadequacies?
A TOOL TO BLEND IN?
Vanessa a colleague at work feels cursing is a form of intimidation. You don’t want to mess with someone that’s swearing at you. I guess, but is it fool-proof?
A FORM OF INTIMIDATION?
Tiffany another colleague tells me it’s a way to let off some steam, a release valve for all the stress. We can’t argue the need for one but the efficacy is debatable.
A RELEASE VALVE FOR STRESS?
We all know it’s wrong but this doesn’t dissuade us from doing it anyway. We get a hint of its inappropriate nature in the way “most” people act if kids are around when they swear. A sense of guilt and usually a subsequent apology to their parents. Perhaps the former is why we bleep out curse words on prime time television?
A gentleman at work the other day thoroughly cursed me out. He wanted to pick up a medication prematurely and I informed him he would have to wait till it was due. He began by calling me the N- word and appeared disappointed by my non-reaction. He then went to use other superlatives concluding in “I hope you get run over by a bus”. While this exchange was going on, looking into his eyes, it appeared a transformation took place as he changed into something hideous the harder he tried to find words that would hurt.
Cursing tears the other person down. We inflict verbal pain. This most often escalates to physical pain in retaliation! Fortunately for one of us I was at work and so wouldn’t take the bait.
CURSING TEARS THE OTHER PERSON DOWN
I met another much older gentleman the other day while trying to fix my car at a Toyota dealership. He was pleasant and extremely helpful. He was retiring from Toyota in several months and let everyone know about it. Every other word he said was preceded by “sh#t” or followed by “f@#k”. He was quite funny. At first I laughed and then I frowned and then I tried to excuse myself but he literally wouldn’t let me go. I then did the unthinkable. I let him know his cursing was bothering me. You should have seen the incredulous look he gave me… a “what the …..” look but unbelievably HE STOPPED swearing and cursing. The conversation became so much more palatable. We actually exchanged numbers.
WE DON’T HAVE TO USE PROFANITY TO GET THE POINT ACROSS.
Cursing is a perversion of the most ancient of legal tenders, Words. Words were not meant to be foul or abusive. That was never their original design. Words were meant to HELP, ENCOURAGE & STRENGTHEN.
WORDS WERE MEANT TO HELP, ENCOURAGE & STRENGTHEN.
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. (The MESSAGE)
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those how hear them. (NLT)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (TNIV)
It’s interesting how far we have strayed from the template. Now words are used to cut people down, cause suicides and incite wars, denigrate a spouse or sibling, devalue a coworker, defeat a rival no matter the cost to their self esteem. Is this what we are really about? Is this the only way?
I propose an alternate. Let’s filter our words through HE’S (Help Encourage & Strengthen) original template. Let’s use the prism of HELP, ENCOURAGE & STRENGTHEN to refract all our words, just for 7 days and see if we are able to sleep more peacefully. Let’s see if the light that shines off the faces of the ones we are talking to gives us something to look forward to the next day.
Happy Word-Watching Week!?!
[TAGS WORDS, ENTHUSIASM, GOD, ANGER MANAGEMENT, SWEAR, CURSE,CUSS, PROFANITY, HELP, ENCOURAGE, STRENGTHEN,CHALLENGE,SPEECH, CONVERSATION,INTIMIDATION