Words Matter.

| Monday, January 10, 2011
I rarely get political on this blog, because I think there's enough of it out there and that's not really what I'm about here. But sometimes things happen that hit me so powerfully that I feel compelled to say something. Don't worry, I'm not going to wank about my personal politics, I'm just going to say one thing.

Words matter.

I'm sure you're going to read blog posts similar to this one all over the place in the next week, but there it is. No matter who you are or what your personal beliefs and politics, when you are in a position of fame or power, you have responsibilities. (Insert Spiderman quote here, yeah yeah). One of those responsibilities is to mind your words and the rhetoric you choose to use when you're in the public sphere.

I think we can very easily tie this into our own lives as weavers of the written word. Every word, every phrase, that we choose to express our ideas is important. They hold power. If we're writing with the goal of our work being read by the general public, we have a responsibility to choose those words with care. This is our communication. This is how we send our message to the world.

What do you want your message to be? Something that gets you lots of attention and pats on the back? Something that gets your face on the news because it's so outrageous? Or something that betters discourse and moves people in a positive way?

There's really nothing more for me to say that hasn't already been said a hundred different ways. So I'll leave you with this piece by Keith Olbermann. I admittedly have my issues with Olbermann because I feel even he hasn't been as mindful of his discourse as he should have been in the past, but in the linked video, he admits to this and summarizes much of my feelings about the events of the past weekend.

I'll just end by expressing my sorrow over the victims killed during the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords this weekend, and my sincere hope for the speedy and complete recovery of the survivors.


{ aspiring_x } at: January 10, 2011 at 9:03 AM said...

very true and very sad.

{ jjdebenedictis } at: January 10, 2011 at 12:43 PM said...

Thanks for posting this. Mr. Olbermann's video choked me up; he has some smart, sane things to say, and I hope America is listening.

{ Christine } at: January 10, 2011 at 1:22 PM said...

Thank you for your post. Very well put. I'm going to watch the video next.


{ Dangerous With a Pen } at: January 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM said...

So sad. I wish it hadn't taken a tragedy to get more people to notice that hurtful words don't just disappear into thin air, even when they are flippant. They leave a mark. They leave ideas. They leave ideologies. They leave hatred. So sad. About time these conversations are being had more seriously.

{ Tracy } at: January 11, 2011 at 5:34 AM said...

So very true. Unfortunately, the people who's words typically cause the most damage are the people who have the least concept about how their words sound.

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