I saw in the news recently that someone was trying to sue Facebook for the right to completely and forever delete posts without the risk of ‘cyber-crumbs’. Whereas it seems that it should be someone’s prerogative to delete posts, it might be somewhat unrealistic. The truth of the matter is that the reality of life commands that whatever we do or say, and in this case ‘post’, can never really be deleted from the heart and mind of the receivers. In this case, it could be that Facebook only faces us with the reality check of who we really are through the reflection of our own posts. Sometimes a real look at ourselves in the mirror of our own words and actions and their effect on others is more than we can take.
It used to be that casual conversation was like vapor coming out of our mouths which never transformed into a hard copy. As such, it could easily be dismissed and forgotten, as if only under pretense. Times have changed as today casual behavior and discussion is digitally documented and posted for the world to see and judge. Many a religious and/or political figure has had to be faced with the reality that they cannot, as is done in a court of law, demand that some statement be stricken from the record. And even in these cases, though not entered in public records, it has entered the ears, the heart and mind of the people present in court.
A friend of mine recently got into an uncomfortable situation when jokingly suggesting that her daughter’s dark circles were a result of smoking too much pot. It was a joke, but the mother took it as a false accusation and didn’t find it funny. The daughter did not find it funny either when it got back to her and needless to say, no longer wishes to be in the company of my friend. She wished it hadn’t happened but alas it was too late.
Spoken words are very much like toothpaste. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, there is no chance of putting it back.
The spoken word is a very important responsibility, especially for teachers and leaders. It is best to carefully chose and weigh one’s words and ‘absolutely never’ use superlatives! The old adage is not really true. Sticks and stones hurt, but word do cause harm too. Words are real things. They lift up, or knock down; they inspire, or they depress; they heal, or they hurt, they give life, or they kill.
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