Something that all languages have in common is that they all possess reservoirs of lethal words designed to hurt. Often these words might not be dangerous by themselves, but when coupled with a harsh tone and dressed in resentment, they are more hurtful than physical blows.
These words don’t hurt in the same way. They bear down on you differently based on the time, style of deliver, and who unleashes them on you. There are the blunt words which hurt without leaving a mark to show. The sharp words are so swift that you don’t even realize that you are suddenly bleeding inside. The paper cut words that come when you least expect it. Then there are the words that choke, they slowly accumulate and curl themselves around you, strangling you a little more each day till taking another breath hurts you physically.
I see words when I watch people talk. As they projectile out of mouths I can see how perfectly coated they are in resentment. I see them slap and strangle, cut and choke. I see them hitting the other person and extracting a reaction of the same or more magnitude. These words never die or disappear. They are just hanging in the air. Often they launch themselves into unknown crevices of your being, only to declare themselves the moment before you crash. Did I say they never help? They don’t.
These words have their own sounds too as they go about wreaking havoc. There’s crack of the whip word, the slicing knife word, the crushing wood word, the shattering glass word, the slap on the face word. Do you hear them? Strain your ears a little more, you will.
All these words hurt, but at least they are honest about their intent. The one I detest is the deceitful word. The one masquerading to be on your side, when all along it was just chipping at the corner s of your sanity, eating away whatever peace of mind you had. They are the worst.
Wait, maybe not. The worst words, the most lethal ones, are the words of mass destruction. The ones which destroy everything, cut through all relations, wipe away years of trust, and crush all dreams. They leave no love behind. And, most of important of all, they ensure that every single heart in the vicinity is also scarred for life. Yes, they are the worst.
Where do these words spring from though? Surely they don’t exist in a vacuum! Maybe finding the story of that word will cause it to let its guard down. Maybe these words need to be caught midair, before they hit you. Maybe they need to be examined for what they really are- flying debris of hurt.
But there are other words too, thankfully, to help us cope.
The kind word, the loving word, words of solace, the words that envelop you in a warm embrace even when you are breaking into a million pieces. These are the words that we need more than anything at this point in time. Maybe your word can be the first one in this new story that we weave for ourselves. Or maybe you can look in and change the story of your word. If nothing less, maybe you can hold back your broken word and nurture it till you heal. Whatever you choose, let it be only the good word that escapes your lips today.