Our church community just finished a series called, “The Things that make for Peace”. It was killer.
I mean I think we really hit the mark with it. People loved this peace series! Bull’s eye. We bit the bullet and went for it – discussing peace with our neighbors, our enemies, ourselves, our God.
I was shooting someone an email later when it hit me: we never drilled down to the elemental level of how we construct our world. I hadn’t touched at all on the primary ways we express who we are, what we’re doing and what we want. To wit: I never talked about how violent words are entrenched in our everyday discourse.
It wasn’t that many years after my kids learned the power of words that they soon began learning the allure of “bad” words. Cuss words, “go to hell” words, and the various anatomical words were tantalizing to them.
Even though I tried to ban most of them, parents know that language takes on a life of its own. So I gave what I thought was real world advice: use these ‘bad’ words sparingly. Sometimes they are the right word. But they’ll only be powerful if you use them rarely.
I was getting a bead on someone the other day when it occurred to me how normalized bloodshed, aggression and brute force are. “The project blew up right in front of me!” Whether it’s Walt White or last week’s photos of downtown Cairo; from office communication to nightly dinner discussions, I speak with violent passion and issue my analogies like a sailor.
I’m not going to become a peace-nick, not today anyway. But I do want to try and better align my values with my words. Beginning with the simple awareness of how I say what I say. Explosions are more powerful when they rarely happen.
You can let me know if I’ve hit the target.