October 1, 2012

Karla’s Korner – Words: Use them kindly and correctly

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

There’s a children’s song I learned in church growing up and have since taught it to my own children and now my preschoolers. The song speaks of how we must be careful what we see, say, hear etc; “Oh be careful little eyes what you see…oh be careful little ears what you hear…oh be careful little lips what you say…oh be careful little feet where you go.” Very good words to live by. Words are pretty important in our lives. We use them to communicate everything from how we feel to what we need. We use words in one form or another almost every waking moment of every day. When we are born, our parents begin to teach us how to speak. We begin to form simple words at first graduating onto simple sentences until one day we are on our way to full communication with the world around us. In today’s world young children begin to use words in various forms that include written and verbal. Words are everywhere; there is no escaping them. And for the most part that is a good thing.

What happens when we use our words inappropriately? As wonderful as they are to use, words can be used to hurt and tear others down. Let me be the first to say that I have used hurtful words and while I am not proud of it, I am human and I make mistakes. We all do. We must learn from these mistakes and strive not to make the same ones in the future.

I received an email from my daughter the other day with a link to a website she wanted me to see. Not sure what it was I clicked on the link and travelled to a website that tracks “tweets” on the social network Twitter. I do not have a Twitter account and am not completely sure how it works. What I saw was a grid with 4 categories on it. Each category was labeled with words that are used in a derogatory manner to describe those who are gay. Each category had a live running total of how many times people were using these horrible words; underneath of the totals it showed the actual “tweets”. Most of them were not intended to be harmful; they were just using these words out of context or to be “funny”. As I watched the numbers soar into the thousands (yes thousands upon thousands) my heart broke. Within a few minutes the tears were flowing and my heart hurt so bad I had to walk away from the computer; it made me physically sick. None of these words are appropriate to use anytime and these people were using them as freely as I was using air to breathe.

When I was a little girl my Aunt Gail used to tell us kids to “play pretty” when we were all together. When my own children were little I would instruct them to “play pretty”; instructing them to not only use kind actions but words as well. In my classroom I insist that kind words and actions are used and when they are not we take a moment to discuss how others feel when we hurt them. What has happened in our world today that we turn our heads or close our ears to inappropriate language? As I view Facebook posts written by teenagers I find myself appalled by some of the language being used. Cursing seems to be the norm lately along with slang, slander and slurs. I wonder why they think it is cool. What do their parents think; or do their parents even know?

Society needs to pay attention to the words we (me included) use. We may never know how words we think are funny or witty can actually hurt someone. Taking care to “play pretty” will not only leave you feeling good about your own actions but will also ensure that you do not hurt someone else in the process. Words are necessary in our lives. Use them wisely, kindly and thoughtfully. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the website I saw the other day was full of zero’s?



Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles here.

Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

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