Close your eyes.
And just for a moment think back to the most important piece of advice you got when you were younger, on how to treat others.
This is mine, and I know you’ll recognize it…
We were all told that famous line as children, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.
And yet, I find myself exhaling extra deep when I hear specific hateful, mindless words fall from the mouths of children and adults alike, still, at this day in age.
Words meant to divide, and separate.
Words meant to belittle and degrade.
And one word, among the many, still stops me in my tracks.
Still leaves that nauseating, dark feeling in my stomach when it appears;
And that’s the “R-word”.
You know the one.
The word that is maybe unintelligently thrown around in conversation amongst friends.
Or in gossipy chatter in your workplace.
Or around the dinner table with extended family, even.
The word that is used as a hurtful descriptive word, as “comedic relief”, or intended to lend description of someone appearing ignorant.
And to all of that, I say STOP.
Just Stop it.
That word is not something that hasEVER been said in confidence, or good nature, or out of kindness.
That word has never been yelled at a child or adult with any form of disability to express concern, or assistance.
But instead, to show hate, and the perception of “authority”. To attempt to demonstrate dominance over another.
But in all honesty, in my eyes, using a degrading word, meant to hurt someone else, that has zero other purpose, purely shows the character of the individual who chose it.
And nothing more.
It exemplifies no value or meaning over the one meant to hear it.
Whether this word was used in the form of a “joke”, an anecdote, a description or a mood, when it is used at the expense of others, there’s no proper context for it.
So what exactly is the point of using it?
There isn’t one.
At least not one meant to improve this world in mood or function.
Listen to your Mama, your Grandmother, your Great Grandpa, your role model;
Or hear me now, in this movement to erase this word from the world’s vocabulary.
Stop a person mid-sentence to correct the conversation.
Set it straight and aid them in a different word choice.
Let them know that that word is not appreciated, necessary, or acceptable.
I know you get me when I say, we can all be better. And it starts right here.
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.
It is pretty straight forward, friends.
Kindness is free.