There’s an old line in the Simon and Garfunkel song that goes “I bruise you, you bruise me, we all bruise too easily”. How true! Of course we’re not talking about physical bruises per se, but more about mental bruises.
It seems that more and more people seem to care less about the destructive power of their words. Social discourse seems more concerned about making our point even if it ruffles others’ feathers. Sometimes it looks like we even like ruffling the feathers.
On the other hand, it seems like people are waiting to get bruised. It’s like we’re sitting around waiting for someone to say something that upsets us or we disagree with so we can fire back our verbal rockets.
The interactions of people on TV and on the Internet all too often follow an ever upward escalating course of bruising, being bruised, and bruising back. How can we stop this cycle?
One, it starts with each and every one of us becoming responsible for our words and actions. Each of us individually must set an intention to be, in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz, “impeccable with our words”. That is, we choose wisely our words so that they both communicate our meaning while maintaining our relationships. We can say what we need to say while being mindful of how it’s going to be received. We can choose to be kind in our language always. We can choose not to bruise others.
Two, we can toughen our skin and not be bruised so easily by the words of others. Again as Don Miguel Ruiz says, “don’t take things personally”. Someone else can state an opinion that’s different from you and they’re voicing that opinion takes nothing away from you. You can choose to disagree verbally or not. If you do choose to state your opinion, then again be impeccable with your words… communicate your meaning while maintaining your relationship.
Third, by you not bruising others and not allowing others to bruise you, you become a model for others and how they can break the cycle of negativity. By beginning with yourself, you expand your sphere of influence. By everyone taking responsibility to be impeccable with their words and to not take things personally, we can change the direction of social discourse to a positive direction.
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!