Whenever a person of interest (generally coined ‘celebrity’) they are put under an unusually high level of excess and I feel unnecessary stress. One thing in particular is the idea of ‘thinking before you speak’. For the vast majority of people I do think there is a level of thought always joined with the act of communication it is something of a necessity. We all make mistakes in what we are saying, that is to say simply that occasionally we say orange when we meant to say carpool or something like that.
What I don’t feel is fair however is to assume that words have power. Words are no different than currency, essentially all the money you own is only worth as much as you and your social region believe they are worth. There is also that whole exchange rate globally but for the most part a nation could ignore that and still function pretty well. All our words and the emotions we tie to them are entirely personal, there is no automatic response to any words. If there was telling a baby with a sweet tone to go fuck themselves would not elicit the same response as it does from anyone who has been ‘lectured’ or ‘indoctrinated’ into the local lingo. Indeed cursing is all in all just as harmless as discussing vegetable preferences.
However we in a pretty sizeable amount give far far too much credit to words. What most recently elicited this train of thought was that “Special Olympics” comment of the President on the Tonight Show. He equated his bowling skills to something you would see in the Special Olympics, a simple enough example that produces a relatively vivid and likely consistent image amongst anyone who hears it.
People are up in arms about how he should apologize and that while it would have been ok for him to say that before he was President it is not alright anymore. Which to me is highly confusing. If an action is not alright in one instance I would assume that it should either be wrong in all instances or be reexamined.
A persons feelings about themselves, about their world, and about basically anything should not be so easily swayed by the simple speaking of others. This is akin to walking outside, feeling a cool breeze and killing yourself because of it. It’s a radical response to a relatively unimportant gesture. While of course these are all just personal opinion and suggestions it does pay to point out that my own personal life became easily exponentially easier to maintain once I stopped caring about the random banter of others.
Words are wonderful in their artistic quality, but just as you shouldn’t stop eating or lose your self confidence when you see the Mona Lisa, you also shouldn’t be dropping proverbial bricks every time someone says something. Especially considering how often these responses end up being hypocritical. You can’t be treated fairly if everyone feels you need to be treated special. To put it simply, if you can make comments about anything you can make comments about everything. Anything less and we risk (and indeed do) begin enforcing slanted and almost exclusively hypocritical rulings on the realm and limitations of language.