SPEAK ONLY WHEN YOUR WORDS ARE BETTER THAN SILENCE

I do not know how many of you follow politics, most of the conversations in and out of the House of Parliament now a days have foul language. Using Fu*, Bas*, Bit* etc., has become normal. Heard of GR or watched his cookery shows? They are full of beeps, in fact more beeps than words. He is considered one of the best chef’s but his language isn’t any close to even good. He runs into foul-mouthed arguments with contestants over petty things. It is a family show which kids can watch too (I thought that was the intent when the production started) but even adults take some time to get adjusted to it.

The very first encounter with foul words I could remember brought a laughter.

Few years ago, I created my Facebook account. Yes, the well loved social network where people share most about them and spend most of their time with. As you can guess I was one of the late adopters of Facebook. When I signed up, I gave my first name and in the second name column I gave a series of asterisks. Naturally I forgot about that account for few days. Couple of weeks later, one of my cousins called me to check if the account he came across was mine. I told him that I created one a week ago, he screamed at me and said, remove the asterisks from your name, that can give a very dirty impression of you. What’s dirty in that? The tool wasn’t allowing me to use an exclamation mark, I said in a casual tone. I had no idea he was serious, was under the impression that he was pulling my legs… Later on he told me to find out the meaning myself, who else would help but Google 😁

After spending some time on the internet, got a gist of what that means… Symbols can be used for such bad meanings, really wasn’t aware of this.

There is a proverb in my native language, an English translation of it would be, “If your husband calls you bitch, even the beggar would call you so

I have listened people using this proverb many times, but bad words for me are only restricted up to proverbs. They are used to convey stronger meanings to have an impact. I have never heard abusive conversations or usage of foul language either in my family or in my locality. It is true that I have not known such language until few years ago..

As I stepped into the real world, I realized it is quite common for people to use such language and a lot of them consider it to be cool… Anger, frustration are mainly the causes, strangely the other times it’s the closeness and love. Really? One must be sorry to be calling their friend bitch.

What does it take to be called a bitch in real sense? For a woman it’s an extreme insult, no matter whatever the reason is, nobody has any right to say so. Having faced such name-calling, I cried my heart out, months of sleeplessness, as such I couldn’t forget it till date. When I was branded a bitch there wasn’t a reaction in me, I stood still like a rock, unable to move.

The other person isn’t any stranger, I have known him for over a decade, cared for him the most. I have never even had the slightest of guess that he would insult me before so many people. Few days later he said it was his love that made him say so. Well, if that is what is love, I am sure nobody would want it. Can the use offensive names to win an argument be justified in the name of love? I never responded to him, or would want to anytime in future. I can never degrade myself to use such language even if I was deceived or hurt brutally.

Many think usage of these “cool” words makes their version of argument heard, attracts attention of the audiences. I would shut myself off from such conversations, let it make me look arrogant. Let alone uttering those words, I find it very inconvenient even to listen.

I won’t say people who use that language are bad, they may be very good, but to be able to make meaningful, rich and loving relationships it is important to use respectful language. When we are good at heart, why don’t we try to use the best words our language has to offer to address beautiful people who make us happy and make our life a boon?

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​STOP USING FOUL WORDS – OH… IT’S TOUGH

‘Evil always comes in its best outfit!’

In grade – V, I joined a new school and being a shy introvert kid, it took me quite a month to make new friends. In that one month, I always hesitated to mingle with my classmates. During the recreation periods, I never left my schoolbag and classroom bench and every day as I enter the classroom the only thing was in my mind – “when the last bell will ring!” While struggling for my survival in the new group, I always observed one thing that, whenever there is a fight among any of my classmates. The guy who wins the fight is the one who uses some kind of sign language with some powerful words. And my innocent mind instructed, “I must learn these words for my survival in this group” and behold on the last day of school I was well known of doing the thesis in the subject – “Foul Words”.

Let me share you a story I heard in one of the lectures of Dr Ravi Zacharias:

Once the junior devil was assigned to make a good man evil but after several attempts, he reported to the senior devil ‘Sir, it’s impossible to make that person one like us’.

Senior devil: Give me his daily routine.

Junior devil: Everyday he wakes up early morning prays to God then goes for a morning walk and listen to some devotional music and then goes office, very sincerely does his works and returns at night and spent time with family.

Senior devil: Have you noticed any of his good habits?

Junior devil: Yes Sir, he loves to learn and is fond of reading.

Senior devil: Oh…my goodness, there’s you missed the opportunity! Go back and appear before him in the best outfit of learning.

Often for the sake of learning without a discerning heart, we embrace many bad things!

Though it was too difficult and had to face several failures of stop using foul words yet finally I did it.

Bible says,

‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.’

After two years of leaving school, my elder sister and I were in our bicycles in a busy road, suddenly I saw one of my school friends calling me in foul words and waving hands in the midst of crowd and my immediate reaction was to check where are my sister and my goodness she was little ahead. The best option for me was to sneak out from that location without responding my friend.

We cannot change our old age terrible habits until we realise that what we do is wrong and it will spoil our identity. Every action leaves its influence! The second peg of wine is offered because of the acceptance of the first peg.

One step every time helps us to reach the rooftop. When we practice it to feel sorry for uttering foul words, it helps to slice it every time from our life.

Every Saint was once a Sinner!

It’s very true to say – I tried, and I can’t make it, I failed! But it’s I who tried it’s not I who realized and seek His infinite power in my trial. When we realize our sin and draws closer to God seeking His power to help us, it is the God of His eternal, infinite power that helps us to overcome our sinful always. He does it at the exact time by reminding us our commitment of not committing the same old-age sin.

Being human we make good commitments but forget while committing sin and realize after committing sin but seeking God’s help will benefit us by reminding our commitment at our weak time and re-energises our soul to sacrifice everything that comes along the way just to stand perfect before God and human and leave a perfect influence.

God be with you!

DEAR TONGUE….

Dear Tongue you got 32 Guards

But still, you break the bars so Hard

Talking things that sound so Bawdy

You call it Trash, but I call it Gawdy

They say it is the thing of current Mass

How one becomes so downright Crass

Some say it is Macho and Masculine

I would say it’s insultingly Obscene

Profanity, Blasphemy, swearing, cursing and Name-Calling

Hashtag everything, 140 characters are enough for Trolling

Culture, Class, Etiquettes and Manner

All have died under ‘F-WORD’ Banner

Patience is short, and tongues are Sharp

No one can play this out of Sync Harp

Polite words and soft Conversations

With Kids around just have Regulations

Some small mishap is not your Cue

To get loose mouthed and go all Blue

Nothing is gained by being nasty and Rude

All things sour with few words Crude

Communication gaps cannot be Bridged

Abusive words make profound this Ridge

 

LANGUAGE CREATES REALITY

When you say foul words to another – you are only expecting the other person to die while you drink the poison yourself.

It is true. When foul words are spoken, something dies inside the person who speaks them.

I belong to a family where speaking anything foul was highly discouraged. And I grew up to be very strong in that perspective probably to a fault. If I watch a movie that has a lot of bad words – I begin to get a headache and I really feel depressed. My husband often says – that I should learn to handle foul speech. What if someday I have to work with a person who is foul speaker, would I want to run away or deal with him? Well, I don’t know. But it is a reality that I cannot handle abuses. If somebody speaks bad to me, I usually just end the argument in whatever way I can. But his/her language really impacts my well-being.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I noticed that it was quite a fashion for girls to speak out the rough abuses which are usually a normal language for boys. There were some of my ‘so called’ friends who would just speak out bad abuses for no reason and sometimes just for fun. I never found it funny in fact I found it quite weird. Why would anybody want to do that? Is there a shortage of words in our language that people want to resort such a hard language.

There is a movie “Taare Zameen Par” an Indian movie featuring Aamir Khan. He tells a short story of Solomon Island in the movies which goes this way – When people of this island want to clear a particularly land of trees they don’t cut the tree directly. They surround the tree and hold hands. Then they start throwing abuses at the tree. They say the worst things ever to the tree and thereby cursing it. And eventually the tree dies. When I heard this story it got me thinking. Does a tree have ears? Does it have a brain to process the words thrown at it? No, right. Then how is it possible. It is possible because language has energy. Language creates our reality. It can be extremely positive or very negative. Language impacts the existing energy of the area. Try standing in a room and start uttering all the possible abuses that you know of. Sit down in the same room for a while – how is your mood? Do the opposite, stand in a room and say all the positive things – does it make a difference to your mood or can you sense a difference in energy of the room.

Language makes things possible. When you say Thank You or Please, it creates a reality for the other person who is now connected to you in a positive way. When you say foul words, it creates a reality of dislike or hatred which are intense negative feelings. Not only does the listener gets impacted by  our language but also the speaker gets immensely impacted.

So, be careful when choosing your words. Can you use positive words or happy words. If that is not possible – then choose the most neutral language that suits the situation.

PROFANITY IN EVERYDAY CONVERSATIONS

“She’s my bitch!” 

“Yo wassup dawg?!”

If you’ve been around in the world (of course you have) you’ve heard the above statements that have become a sort of fashion statement these days. ‘Hip’ girls and boys referring to their friends or their boyfriends/girlfriends thus and without any qualms too. Note that the intent in the above two statements is not to ridicule or slander, but to express affection for a friend instead. I don’t know when and how this started but weren’t those two words supposed to mean an insult? At least I would be very offended if someone called me a bitch. I don’t suppose this shift in how we perceive these cuss words came about because our generation was suddenly swayed by a sense of brotherhood for our canine friends. Nope! But used affectionately or in a derogatory way, the context doesn’t make their usage any less offensive. They’re both representatives of how profanity has permeated into our everyday parlance.

Profanity today has seeped into our everyday vocabulary to the extent that some things are best described only by the use of derogatory terms. For example –

Shit happens.

Life’s a bitch.

What an ass!

What the fuck is that?

Profanity has shifted, or should I say has been promoted, from being something used only to cause offence to something that sometimes conveys an idea best. But perhaps this shift in how we perceive the use of profanity now is the reason why we hear so much of it in everyday conversation.

Remember the time when you would get a stern look from elders for using terms as mild as ‘stupid’ and ‘shut up’, while today ‘shut up’ has become an equivalent for ‘seriously’ or ‘really’? When language starts to accommodate ‘foul’ in the ‘fair’ category it naturally leads to a downfall in the quality of language and the smudging of lines on what is acceptable and what is not. There is a reason why language from old books and period films sounds classy and sweet. Its because such allowances in language were not allowed then; a bitch meant only either a female dog or an insult to a woman; no other meaning to that expletive was allowed and entertained and the usage of the latter was frowned upon. What’s more, people considered it a part of good manners to keep their tempers and tongues in check.

When language is courteous, foul language automatically is kept under control because its use is considered taboo. But when language starts to get discourteous, starts passing off cuss words as normal usage, ‘wassup bitches’ is what you get and since today we are being trained to see these cuss words not as an insult, therefore even a derogatory ‘son of a gun’  sounds like a phrase used for appreciation.

But why do we use profanity? What makes its use so compelling? We’re all humans, we’re prone to getting angry and letting our mouths run loose along with our imaginations and getting creative with expletives. In some cases, it is even considered cool to use foul words, but what I don’t understand is why we use them at all? Forget about all the morally right reasons for not using bad language and just for a minute concentrate on the practical uses of foul language. What do you get?

Beyond the perverse joy of watching someone’s face fall and getting a kick out of it, or letting off steam, foul language really doesn’t serve any purpose because – 

A.  It doesn’t get the point across. The one being abused closes his mind to any attempt at conciliation or a fair argument thereafter.

B.  It makes the user sound uncouth and vile.

C.  It’s a waste of time and energy because it resolves nothing.

Oh, but it feels so gooooooood, did you say?!

I know that! I’ve been there, done that too. But apart from being branded a ‘bitch’, I didn’t accomplish anything else out of using profanity. I lost plenty though – friends, goodwill and face. I was the proverbial smart mouth who everyone liked to steer clear of and it was the reason why I drove myself into a lonely place. Coming out of that place was tough, and I’m still trying to mend the bridges I tore down.

As someone who’s been both at the giving and receiving ends of profanity, what I’ve come to learn is that using foul language is like using sarcasm – it’s perceived as something cool and witty, but is actually an infantile preoccupation of an egotist who does not have control over his emotions. Sure in some circumstances, both foul language and sarcasm are deserved, but I would say in most cases, a greater revenge would be to laugh in the face of your abuser and never give them the satisfaction of letting them get under your skin.

Coming back to the original theme of this article, the allowance of profanity in everyday conversations has led to a degeneration of language because we have taught ourselves that it is okay to use foul words even for expressing our appreciation or love. It sets a wrong precedent for not only our generation but even the ones coming after us who would only learn that there is no ceiling to how foul-mouthed you can be because by then the lines between courteous and uncouth words would have blurred to the extent that terms like ‘bitch’ would be regarded as both an appreciation and an insult. When we ourselves make such allowances in language we do not have the right to point to the younger generations and cry foul. Can you really blame a teenager who calls her friends ‘bitches’ or ‘dawgs’ when he/she has seen others do the same? Its unfair to them.

We should either clean up our own act or shut our eyes and ears to the degeneration of language and consequently the degeneration of our morality. Restraint on language also translates to restraint over temper because the use of foul language is a kind of vent for a frustrated soul, so that if you keep it in check, chances are your temper too will subside quickly, but if you over-indulge it, soon your hurt ego will not be sated by the mere use of foul language. It will deviate to worse alternatives. Not to generalize things but an example is that of an abusive parent and one who controls his tongue.  Who do you think is more likely to beat down his own children?

We need today to teach ourselves and our future generations that while expressing our love or anger is alright, the use of profanity to do so is absolutely unacceptable. The languages of the world are rich and flexible enough to provide enough room for creative expression without resorting to the use of bad words. If your tongue is sweet it will only invite more sweetness from others. Nobody likes a barbed wire.

Featured Image: 1820796 at Pixabay

EFFECTS OF BAD WORDS ON CHILDREN

Foul Languages and cursing have always been considered as bad whether you shout against injustice or you are among the hooligans.  When we were kids we used to hear many such profanities of people fighting with each other on the street.  And when a drunkard used to use those languages and shout walking on the roads we used to hide ourselves behind the parapet of the balcony and watch them with our eyes wide open. Sometimes we were driven out by our elders off the balcony to stop hearing or looking at them. And I remember when we used to enact those actions of such people using those foul words we used to get the beatings from our moms. But these languages have all the more bad and have an adverse effects on children when parents do that to their little ones. I will bring THREE very vital effects of the foul words on the young minds of children.

Learning Bad Behaviour

Children often imitate their parents and elder siblings who abuse them with bad or foul words. They just tend to learn those words and speak later whether they fully understand those words or not. Sometimes they use those words in the school and get punishment from the teachers. They get humiliated for behaving bad or using bad words all because of their parents.

Poor Stress & Anger Management

Abusing with bad words at the children can lead them to believe that using coarse words is an acceptable way of dealing with anger, frustration and stress. They take the examples of their parents and their actions get registered in their young subconscious minds. When they grow up they display or react in the similar manner. Recurrent cursing or verbal abuse could lead them to have trouble at school and difficulty forming and maintaining close relationships. As adults, they might have trouble asserting themselves in their career and intimate relationships.

Affects their Self-Esteem

When parents curse at their children, use abusive words that can be emotionally devastating for them. Children are emotionally vulnerable and depend on their parents’ reactions to form healthy self-esteem and a positive sense of self. When they curse at their child out of their own frustration and anger, they might internalize their parents’ hostility. They tend to feel worthless and unloved. Ultimately lowering their self-esteem.

I picked up few abusive words in my own native language that I had learnt when I was small. Sometimes, I use them when I pass comments on someone jokingly and not taken as an offense but I am sure some might have got hurt for that also without my knowledge.

There two Bible verses that attract me in this regard –

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”

“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

As parents, as elders what do you do when you are angry on your children? Do they feel pressed down by your words or feel the grace when they hear your words? Do you use foul words to scold them? Do you shout at others using abusive words in front of your children? Mind it, they pick those words and can hurl them at others or you sometime later.

Keep reading and keep learning…

Stay Blessed!

FOUL WORDS: VENOM FROM THE HUMAN MOUTH

At times when I think of the power of speech that we human beings are blessed with, I simply marvel in awe. Over the centuries, numerous words have been added to dictionaries. And what is interesting is, how some words that spell the same mean different (homographs); some other words that both spell and sound the same (homonyms) while certain words with different spelling and different meanings sound the same (homophones).

(Think of some homographs, homonyms and homophones without searching over the internet or consulting your dictionary. It’ll be interesting! You could mention them in the Comment box.)

Then there are portmanteaus (combining two words to form a new word), like infotainment, shopaholic, etc.

Playing with words is an art. And, in my opinion none can beat the Shakespearean pun! It is par excellence. Rich literature and knowledge of language is present in almost all cultures of the world, with the exception of certain primitive tribal cultures.

With such a rich repository of words available for constructive dispensation of feelings, emotions and information, there has been ample space for obnoxious words to creep into the vocabulary. So much so, that many an awful word is uttered without the sayer knowing its meaning.

There are foul words in every language. And, readers would agree that foul intentions are best expressed in one’s own parent language. There seems to be a fixed set of such words that continue to be used over the ages. As I have mentioned above, new words continue to be added to the dictionary on a regular basis. However from years of observation, I have found out that the list of foul words in a particular language remains more or less fixed and it is relatively lesser in number than the constructive words.

In spite of this being the reality, how frequently do we hear people using profane, coarse, cuss, and blasphemous words? Are these the only words to spew the venom on people around us? If you, dear reader, are one among the many who can’t help, but use foul language, it’s time for a self-check.

Why use foul words?

A person who is hurt will not mind hurting others. Built-in frustration leads to the first few foul words, before it becomes so much a habit that the speaker fails to distinguish the foulness in those words. They become a part of the person’s regular vocabulary.

Remember, what you do is being observed and maybe even imitated by a few people. A five-year old was once brought to me for counselling because he had said outrageously foul stuff to a fellow classmate. While speaking to him, I found out that he had heard his father speak those statements. Now, what is the little one’s fault? He simply imitated what he heard his father – one of the most reliable persons in his life, say!

The Bible says –

“For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

If the heart is full of good, noble, pure and praiseworthy thoughts, that is what the mouth will express. If the heart is filled with discontent, vengeance, hurt, malice and bigotry, those are what the mouth would spew forth.

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…”

Is there a turn-around?

Yes, there is.

But, the problem is that when we get so much used to something, we don’t like to leave it, even when we are apprised of the harmful consequences of it. For most people, it’s cool to use foul words. For men, it’s a trait of masculinity to use such words. For some, it’s fun to spew out a volley of abusive words.

However, …in repentance and rest is your salvation…

The sooner we deal with the problem of the inner heart and seek God’s control over our words, the better it is for us. A deep peace would set in and joy will fill the heart.

‘Oh Lord! Set a guard over my mouth and keep a watch over the door of my lips’may this be your prayer and mine.