Sunday, January 20, 2013

You Broke it, You Bought It

 The beloved Dear Abby died recently. I remember reading her column as I was growing up and well into my adulthood. She always seemed to have all the answers and I wondered how she did it. How could she take the small facts given and find just the right words for those looking to her for guidance?
I know now, that part of it was simply life experiences. All those things that pile up as she went forward in her existence. I liked that she cut to the chase and she did not mince words.  In the current climate, it is words that I want to talk about today. There have been so many thrown out lately. Tossed out in anger or fear. To anyone whom dares to disagree with our point of view. It seems as if we all feel attacked. We are quick to battle and we have been hoarding ammunition. Laying in wait for that perfect time to cut someone who probably started out with our esteem or even our love.  We reach into our arsenal for that perfect weapon. We examine what we know about our advisory. Have they a failed marriage? Misbehaving children? Are they late with their bills? What is there to rub their nose in? What are their own real or perceived flaws?

  And oh how we glory in seeing that we have hit the mark, brought them low. We smile at our success. But I ask you all, what kind of victory have we won? There will never be a plaque for your wall or a trophy for your mantel to commemorate your great accomplishment of hurting someone else with your invasive comments on someone else's life. I have been so guilty of this myself. I get no free pass on this one. It was my signature talent. The ability to cut someone else to the quick. I reveled in it. I was proud of my ability to find that sweet spot. I say this in a small voice, with deep shame. I was unkind. I was mean and cruel and indifferent. I was wrong. My clever little quips that made me feel oh so smart, so witty were false emotion. They brought nothing good to my life and damaged someone else's. And that I must take responsibility for. I have harmed others. I have inflicted pain and embarrassment.

  And it changed me. I cannot tell you the exact moment when I saw the error. The transgression of my actions. I think it came to me gradually. When celebrating the mental carnage that I was responsible for took it's toll on my own life and spirit. I realized at last, the power of my words. I had to ask myself a life changing question. One that I now put to you now. What would you look like, if your words and inner thoughts made up your outer appearance. you see, our words define who we are. We will be remembered not for the house we lived, the balance in our accounts or our outer shell. We will be remembered by our words and our deed. That is the truest reflection of who we are. When we wish to get a inkling of those who came before us, we scour their quotes. What did they say, write, think, do? Were they kind? What did they add to their world? I would put to you, as I have myself, that more quotes of Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela are used to inspire, than those of many current pundits that I shall not name. we all know who they are. Those who feel that tearing down others somehow makes them special. At the end of their days what have they created? What great monument of words will there be to build their legacy upon? And what of the rest of us?

 I still fall short at times. I will find that small space between one's armor and with lightening speed slip in a slim, double edged dagger. And then I realize what I have done. The thing that I am responsible for damaging. What would we have left in our pocket or purse, if the policy of "you broke it, you bought  it" were enacted for such things? Would we be paupers or princes? I am working on fixing what I have broken. I have a lot of hurt to blot out. And I love doing it. I love looking at another's struggle and trying to be the should to lean on. I know I cannot save the world.....alone. We can do it together. Hard things will happen. Challenges will present themselves and that is as it should be. It is far easier to complain and point fingers, to signal out and condemn. Which is a major sign that it is the wrong thing to do. Do not take the easy way out when confronted with someone else's anger or rude stance. Step back and realize, their words are a reflection of who they are and where they are in life. Then, walk away. Leave your arrow in it's quiver. Though your aim may be true, your target is not worthy of what your words will cost you. In the end, we create the world we live in and we will be responsible for paying the debt our words create.

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