Recently I was witness to a very interesting discussion on being politically correct.
Someone had used the word “retard,” in regard to an idiotic statement made by a politician, and someone else got very offended.
The offended person was angry and adamant that the offender apologize, and agree to never use the word again, that it carried power and was extremely hateful.
The offender had a different point of view. Why not release the power and not let it hurt anyone anymore?
It was just a word.
When I was a teenager I was a bit overweight. Not a lot, just 10 or 15 pounds or so, but I was 5’9” and carried it fairly well. However, I had a big issue with the word “fat.” I was highly offended if anyone used that word – even if they were using it on themselves.
As an adult I ended up putting on quite a bit of weight… which is interesting, considering my issue with it! Now that I’ve been losing this weight I’ve had to come to terms with my feelings over the word fat, and find that my issue was simply that I had once been hurt by the word. I am the one who gave it its power. It doesn’t actually have any power without my pain!
Words carry power because we let them – we GIVE them our power! Even words like “I love you, you are precious to me,” have no power at all unless we demonstrate that love through our actions.
If we meet someone with anger and intolerance, it hardly matters that we are politically correct.
We need to stop giving our power away. And at some point we just need to stop being offended.