Choose Your Words Carefully

For a while now, I've wanted to write this post.  Then a few months ago, I came across this article, "The R Word."  The article has nothing to do with the Campaign "Stop the R word" referring to retardation but everything to do with the word rape.  To summarize the R word article, the young man was pleading with his fellow online gamer "friends" to stop using the word rape in their trash talk and playful banter.  You see he was a rape victim, and every time his friends used the word, horrible images of the incident would fly into his head, ruining not only the moment of playing the game he loved but the rest of his day.

Let me give you another scenario.  I had an ex one time who's younger teenage brother committed suicide with a gun.  About a month after his death, my ex and I were a barbeque with friends.  One of our friends (who didn't know what happened to my ex's brother...because it's not a subject he liked to talk about, understandably) was talking and laughing about this stupid mistake he had made and then the friend stuck two fingers to his head and POW! shot himself with his imaginary gun fingers and laughed. Visibly my ex flinched. So did I.  But our friend was oblivious to the pain he caused my ex.  For the rest of the day, my ex was just not himself, because his mind was on the loss of his younger brother.

So before you: complain about how the dealership "raped" you in finance charges when you bought your new car or joke that you might have to start "cutting" yourself if the chaos of summer doesn't end or "slit your wrists" if you hear your kids complain  one more time or ask who do you have to "molest" to get a discount around here, consider you may not know your audience as well as you think you do, even if they are your best friend.  Rape, molestation, suicide, child abuse, self mutilation and any other horrific events happen to people and most never report it, much less talk about it.

Choose your words carefully.  You never know who they might hurt.