Important Words on An Important Day

Bullies and Verbal Abuse

You know, the way I see it, there is only one real. big bad sin in this world, where hatred plants it’s seed and begins to grow. Verbal abuse. Early in life, young children can learn the power of hurtful words; either in the receiving end or the “giving” end. After a child impulsively says an unkindness toward another, he witnesses the effect of his or her choice of words being the cause. The instigator sees another human being attempt to (though usually unsuccessfully), to not emotionally crumble in the presence of others, or they see the receiving child boldly cover up any sign of hurt or wound. The one hurt by the cutting words pretends the event never happened in order to save face. But for every time the choice is mentally made to deny it ever happened, then a real cut is inflicted… inside…..deep in the soul. Children see his powerful effect. They might have already experienced the verbal pummeling, themselves, and now lash back to another child. You see, it does not matter what end of verbal abuse you are on…because once it has happened, a chain of more abuse begins to fester in both the one instrumental in slinging the words or the one having to feel their sting.

Verbal abuse is often the root of hatred, prejudice and malice. It grows, dangerously, into a vicious cycle of victims and inflictors. With each new episode, the pain not only worsens, but widens. Maybe a brother was verbally mean to his sister, Maybe next, she is mean toward a friend, maybe after that the friend is mean toward another friend–and the incidents repeat over and over in different ways—but—it is all verbal abuse and because of verbal abuse. It is as if a sinuous network of branches grows and multiplies. After the young victim learns the coping mechanisms, ironically, respect for that person is compromised…after all, (they must have brought this on all by themselves). One’s hurt by verbal abuse, goes on to either lash out or weakly repel in the form of withdrawal. Well Into adulthood, such habits…being the verbal abuser or the abused play their roles out, day in and day out, subtley and demonstrably.

The world of adults is a raw, fresh, enriched soil ready for abusive words. Those powerful, biting words can be used to harm a neighbor, an acquaintance, a colleague at work, and especially, friends and relatives. The “giver” of such insidious words discovers his/her power helps propel him past any incoming wounding, but especially to see that one’s words can topple anyone else…friend or foe. When you practice a musical instrument or a specific dance, you gain “muscle memory”. The mind of a verbally abused person also has “wound memory”. This develops into an unhealthy response to many forms of bullying, and hurtful communication. Some victims of verbal abuse might only see abusiveness all around them. They might only feel abuse and nothing else. Tragically, they might know of no other way to cope with abuse other than to strike back abusively—doing the exact, very same thing that destroyed their once healthy psyche in the first place. You know,,,I am very grateful to my very own parents for something they monitored, which is directly related to verbal abuse. It was that discipline of putting the lid on sarcasm in our household. No good ever comes from sarcasm. We were simply not allowed to speak in a sarcastic vein, tone or context. Now I see why. Sarcasm is just a thin veil before the next level of terminology is to come—verbally abusive terminology. yet, sarcasm is accepted in the workplace. Some even view it as a degree of intellectualism because sarcasm can fall under the label of humor. But it’s not. When stripped down, it really does go back to the basics…mudslinger vs mudslingee.

On this weekend when we all, hopefully, stop and remember the wisdom of Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr., I decided to take apart the many facets of prejudice. I think Dr, King would agree with me. Verbal abuse is prejudice put into practice. The next time you’re tempted to drag someone’s faults out and poke a jeering finger at a person, please ask yourself, which end of verbal abuse are you re-enacting? Are you the cruel individual or the unfortunate recipient? Perhaps, history makes you both. Are you really proving a point that will spring forward for the better for all of mankind, or are you just reacting or enacting….puffing yourself up to feel better and more powerful? Please, let’s all try to be “intellectual peacekeepers”. Let’s even be “intellectual cheerleaders” for anyone who deserves it—or needs it—and by the way….we ALL deserve to be cheered onward, to be recognized for our worth and to even be validated. Love DOES make the world go round. Not hate. Never verbal abuse. Never. Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for your leadership…your entwining vine of love grows ever onward.