Can We End The Name-Calling Please?
Unless you've been living in the woods and television or the internet aren't part of your daily life, you've heard some of the words coming from one person who seems to be monopolizing the news and discussions (and no, this isn't about politics).
Forget policies or plans for a minute. This is about name-calling which simply has to stop. Because it's a subtle, or not so subtle, way of showing hate.
Hate is frightening because it's often hidden. But sometimes it's not, particularly when it rears itself in action. The recent, gut-wrenching tragedy in Orlando is an example of what can happen when hidden hate shows itself. And it often begins with words.
You know the person who has owned the news cycle for months, hurling hateful words at other adults. Not privately, but publicly. And it continues today.
It's ugly. And damaging. Words hurt. Badly.
We hear about tolerance and acceptance. We know about diversity and inclusion. We teach our kids that everyone is different...and that's okay. We explain to them why discrimination -- whether race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or otherwise -- is wrong.
So do you think our kids may be confused when they hear an adult slinging hateful names, almost with pleasure? When they know the attention and even adoration that results? When they see an adult with notoriety -- someone they may have seen on "reality" TV -- spouting these words when, to them, it may seem nothing short of an endorsement?
Everything begins somewhere. And it can be a single, seemingly harmless series of letters that form a word that denigrates another human being. We know what happens when those words turn into more.
If ever there was a time for us to honestly evaluate what the hell we're doing, saying, allowing, and accepting, it's now.
Our kids need to understand the power of a single word, regardless of what they may hear or see in school, online, or on TV. And it starts with us...in our homes, our conversations, and our comments.
We need to make sure they know that "sticks and stones" (if they're even familiar with it) is crap.
We need to remember that our children are listening. watching, and learning. All the time.
We need to remember that a single word can be a starting place for good or for bad.
We need to reject what we know is wrong and not find humor in it.
We need to change the narrative, using our moral compass wisely.
We need to stop the name-calling, once and for all. It's truly enough.