My very first blog, back in June was on the power of words. My reflections came after the murder of Dr. George Tiller in his church Reformation Lutheran on Pentecost Sunday. The basic premise was "words matter".
So here I am revisiting that idea. Words matter. Anyone who says differently is not thinking or behaving ethically or morally. I will be the first to say that each human being is responsible for their own behavior. However we can not pretend that peoples behavior can and often is influenced and motivated by another person or persons words.
People that have the power to influence: Teachers, Celebrities, Preachers, Politicians; have a responsibility to choose their words wisely. The words spoken and heard, the actions taken and observed can motivate others for good and for evil. Any person who states that "my words" or "my actions" don't matter is, if you will, a few fries short of a happy meal.
The current debate in this country around health care reform and in my state of Kansas around cuts in education and other services have become garbage heaps of lies and innuendos, half truths and name calling. I have been sickened by the violent words, the racial slurs, the pointing of fingers and the inflammatory ways opposing sides have engaged one another.
As a Christian I say, Enough! As a citizen of this country, I say, Enough! Disagreement, differing views are not bad. It is through the conflict that an open place for dialogue can form. What I will not tolerate is the bald faced lies, the shaving of the truth and the name calling that draws such deep lines in the sand that there is no room for compromise and for the creativity that will find a solution that might not make all happy, but at least widens the circle.
The loudest voices will always get attention, but perhaps it is time for those of us who don't scream and shout to make our wishes known. Now is the time to tone down the hateful rhetoric, to call out those who be divisive, to make a place and space for people to find their way into a deeper partnership on the things that matter.
Each one of us has the power of words. We can use them to make the world a better place, to add more and more peace and more justice. Each one of us can tone down the rhetoric and ask others to do the same. We must do it. For words matter and I choose for my words to create a better place and space for dialogue.
Graced to serve.