Ever since I attended @marchforourlives I have made one very small shift. After that shooting I remember reading articles about how pervasive #violence is in our culture; one article even stated that we should not be surprised, and certainly not shocked, that our kids are killing each other, that violence is as much of our culture’s fabric as baseball & apple pie (my words, not the article’s). The article gave examples of how the US perpetrates global violence through the military, our prison system, our movies, video games, policies in our own country, not to mention slavery and the horror we began with, etc. After I read that I started to notice some things. The one thing that I keep noticing is how many “celebratory” comments we say that are steeped in violence. I have made a short list of phrases I use or have heard in my home/with my friends:
•You killed it!
•We annihilated that team!
•You’re da bomb.
•That was a bloodbath.
•Dude, we crushed them!
•You destroyed that test.
Clearly, this list could go on. But this has been enough to make me pause and think (sometimes) before I say something congratulatory. What do you think? Am I being overly critical? Or do we regularly use violent words to communicate a job well done? What are our words actually saying? What are we creating with them?
I liked this picture of the fire as a reference to that teeny tiny verse in the Bible that I can’t ever seem to shake. “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos...” James 3. (photo cred: @unsplash)