Words can be incredibly powerful. They can inspire us, or they can cause us to weep. It is a gift to find the right words for an occasion without misinterpreting things and making an ass of ourselves. The digital age has magnified this tremendously.
I was sitting here listening to a conference call and scrolling through my social media when I saw that Wendy Williams, the talk show hostess, had collapsed on live TV. My first thought was to hope that she was going to be OK. Thankfully that was the case, she had gotten too hot wearing a ridiculous costume for her Halloween show. A terribly frightening moment, but not as serious as first feared.
Honestly, I don’t like talk shows. With that statement out of the way, my first thought was about the person and their well-being. Sadly this event prompted a stream of ill-informed comments and terribly tasteless jokes. You can imagine some of the things that were said, it would be pointless to repeat them here. I am sure that some of these comments were intended as jokes, or to be humorous, but they failed miserably.
This brings me back to the issue of words and how to use them. I believe that the first rule is not to use words carelessly. It is worth the time to think about what we say or type before hitting the send button or move our lips.
A second rule would be to think about why you want to say the things you are about to say. Is it a cry for attention for yourself? Or is it intended to help or hurt the person you are speaking about? If Wendy had indeed been seriously ill, would you have felt any regret about what you had so hurriedly said?
Third, does it take putting someone else down to make you feel better about yourself? If so, you need to talk to someone. If not, then why did you say those things?
I don’t care for Wendy’s show. That does not mean that I like human compassion for the person. If you said something awful, I hope that you realize how lucky you are that the situation was not critical. You have a chance to think before you say something like that again. I hope that you realize that had Wendy been hurt, at some point you would have looked back at what you said, or have someone point it out to you, and realized that you had to face the consequences.
Why is it so hard to be kind to one another? Why is it so hard to care about one another?