I’m not trying to be confrontational. I definitely don’t want to pass judgment or condemn others. I’ve simply noticed a pattern of the increasing use of negative, mean, and toxic words used by people of influence. It’s happening on social media, in our communities, and it’s even happening within our very own homes. And the sad thing is, we are turning a blind eye to IT while shaking our fists at each other. The toxic words we are constantly using…NEED to STOP! They are eroding the moral fabric of our companies, homes, and schools. They are affecting the way we treat each other.
Words really matter!
Do words really matter? I believe they DO! I believe they have a powerful effect on the lives of those around us. Some might even say they are more powerful and ‘mightier than the sword.’
Research and experience teach us that words create and affect the culture of our companies, communities, and campuses. They can even destroy people’s lives. If that’s the case, let’s choose to eliminate our WEAPONS of WORDS and replace them with WORDS of RESPECT.
If we’re going to destroy, let’s destroy the ugly, hurtful, and toxic words thrown around by our thought leaders and lawmakers.
Leaders build not destroy!
People of power and influence must say what they REALLY mean and mean what they SAY. Others are watching, listening, and imitating how we live. Our thoughts, words, and deeds our constantly being observed by those we lead. As a teacher of 18 years, I’ve observed the capacities of the younger generation and the future workforce of your companies. Many develop into respected, respectful, and productive citizens of society. They care how life is LEARNED. They care how life is LIVED. And they care how life is LED.
The group adopts the personality of the leader.
The laws of nature dictate that life, as well as culture, deteriorates and erodes unless otherwise restored or renovated. If we are not conscience about restoring acts of kindness and renovating our negative words, the downward direction our culture has taken will continue to destroy a life worth living for.
Eliminate the F-word
One place to renovate and restore decency in our colleges, communities, and companies is by eliminating the casually and the used too often F-word. The F-word is increasingly used without much thought or regard to what it REALLY MEANS and how the very word is unconsciously, or perhaps consciously, destroying the way life is lived and business is conducted.
Ironically, you might be saying…What the.. F#@% does this word have to do with the erosion of the company or the classroom?” Checked or unchecked; it has everything to do with the direction of your company! At a quick glance it may seem that the F-word has nothing to do with the direction of your company. Currently this word has been used to motivate, educate, and or even intimidate people into action to obtain the results of the shareholders. The F word, more often than not, is the word that is used when we don’t know what to say or do to get the expected results we want. Unfortunately, our lack of discipline and limited vocabulary creates in the end a destructive atmosphere.
As Inigo Montoya said, “I do not think it means what you think it means.” The F word means something completely different than what is trying to be said. Webster defines it as “having sexual intercourse with (someone). Unless your company is about having sexual intercourse then say what you mean. Ultimately, the use of the F word in this sense, is a mockery of what should be a very sacred act between a man and woman, or at the very least a casual disregard on how you and your people who run your company were created.
In my opinion, how we come into this world and how we leave this world should be the most important things to ALL of US…ALL the TIME!…If not, why do we spend billions of dollars in building a life, protecting a life, and ending a life. It is ironic that when we say we care about life and other people’s safety, like mass shootings, child trafficking, rape, abortion, hurtful words, etc,, but use a word that mocks the very act we profess to care about is hypocritical or at least confusing. Perhaps we really don’t care about the sacredness of ALL life as much as we ‘say’ we do if we continue to use the F-word.
I use it in a different context!
The F-word used in the ‘other context’ is also a mean, ugly, and toxic word defined as being “used alone or as a noun or verb in various phrases to express annoyance, contempt, or impatience.” , Aren’t we creating a culture that is counterproductive to what we are trying to do and develop by using the F-word to express annoyance, contempt, or impatience with one another? In reality it’s the antithesis of growth! After all, aren’t we still subconsciously associating the sacred and beautiful act of creating LIFE with a word that describes annoyance, contempt, and impatience?
Others may even include the F-word or other insulting and hurtful words to stir up some powerful emotions and move people to action. Guess what? Other words can do the same thing!
No matter how you use the F-word, according to me, it’s an ugly, hurtful, toxic and mean-spirited word that can never be used in a useful or helpful way. It tears us apart more than it builds up and brings us together.
LEARN. LIVE. LEAD
The words we use and what we say affect what we do and how we treat each other. It has been my experience that it’s not a coincidence that we treat each other the way we talk to each other.
LET’S put down our WEAPONS of WORDS…ALL of THEM from A to Z, and replace them with WORDS of RESPECT. Respect for what we say. Respect for what we mean. Respect for how we learn. Respect for how we live. And respect for how we lead. Life is precious and should be beautiful for ALL.
Some might simply say…LOVE one ANOTHER!
Thank you for your insights, observations and recommendations, Jeff. Being anchored in kindness helps words of respect come to mind in difficult situations. When in doubt, try kind. As a kindness advocate, I recommend a set of intentions to cultivate a kind mind and open heart. One of these intentions is: Pause. Breathe. Choose. Choose kindness, mindful kindness.
I love these thoughts. I will practice them today:)
Thank you, Jeff.