“I could kill myself.”
Maybe you’ve said it. Honestly, I bet I’ve said it. In so many variations.
I won’t not belabor that now.
I will, however, say that words matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re saying “purple is the most amazing color” or “purple’s the ugliest color ever” or “Does the San Andreas Fault makes me look fat?” Actions matter. Words matter. Meaning matters. Perception matters.
One of the most insightful/worst things I learned through my Interpersonal Communication courses is this: Meaning is in the mind of the receiver.
Be sure, I’m not asking you to be all over-P.C.-super-sensitive. You can craft your message. You can be hyper-aware. However, sometimes (quite possibly, most of the time) we don’t know we’ve said something impactful until we see the reactions. It’s just as important to recognize those as it may be to be aware of our surroundings and situations in the first place.
One of my favorite personal entertainments is to take what people say literally. Try it. Taking the colloquial understandings out of words/sayings can completely change the meanings and give you, in context, a relatively amusing image. Hold that grain of salt close as you continue reading.
The study of words and their usage fascinates me. I suppose that lands me in a unique position to analyze the situations/comments to come.
No more mincing words: September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
After my sister took her life in March 2013, it took quite some time to readjust to our culturally-customized patterns. Hell, there was even a new puzzle-type app launched where you died if you didn’t solve things properly. Image me, recently separated from my major-me (is that the counterpart of a mini-me?), watching a friend play a game and say again and again, “See? I died….I died….I died….I died again.” It was completely innocent and, for me at that moment, completely horrifying.
Suicide has a long history of disgrace, shame. Maybe that relates more to the ideal that we, in our lives and the lives of others, can fix things. If you took your life because you couldn’t solve a problem I could have fixed, well, that’s haunting.
Honestly, I think it goes back to the fact that at creation God did not make more Gods. God created man (humans), who were less than God. Not Perfect.
WE ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO FIX ALL THE HORRORS, INJUSTICES, or (for Goodness’ Sake) even ANY SCRAPE OR BLEMISH OR TARNISH OR BLUR in this or ANY world.
That sucks. I want to fix it. I want to make it better.
You know what makes it suck less? Trying to remember that God did not make more Gods at creation. He made us human. Errant. Unequipped to fight the innermost battles that rage; in ourselves or others. Many times, relinquishing control comes so much more difficultly than the trial, itself. Our desire to be right, to be in control, to be God will never cease to amaze me.
I like to believe that means that we all want to make this world a better place. One way we can do that is that the next time someone reacts harshly to your words, try to flip the script and see it from their POV.