autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Violent Words

In answer to a question by a stranger, the following thoughts. Logged here for reminding myself if/when/as needed.

> This prompts me to ask you what is violent
> language? Other than the obvious such as
> threats, I do not share the idea that words are
> equal to physical force.

It is a demonstrated, clinical fact that the brain receives and processes everything it encounters. It is equally demonstrated that the concepts and ideas behind words have significant power in the mind of both their carrier as well as their recipient.

By way of example, how many songs can you recognize from your childhood that you did not realize you even remembered at all?

The words we use are shaped by our internal mechanisms; the things we say to heal or to hurt are shaped by our own experiences of what heals or hurts us. In this way, many times, what someone says is direct insight to who they are, who they want to be, or who they fear becoming.

With no religious or popular cultural basis whatever, I find it both accurate and true to say that words that are intended to prick, jab, or cut actually do so and as I’m sure you know, pricking, jabbing, and cutting are not acts of peacefulness, but of violence.

This is what I mean when I say “violent words”.

There are degrees of denial we all carry within us as armor against the terrible and thoughtless things that others do or say, but the reality is, we do experience and hear them and they do affect us; even if only by adding a layer of mental mortar to stave them off.

Considering that every act we set loose in the world travels far beyond the moment that we watch it disappear over the horizon, and potentially carries far greater effects than we may ever, directly know, it seems to be virtuous and ethical to strive against adding more rocks to the weight of others; particularly when it is easily seen that unhappiness is the most common cause for which others loose such things upon us.

From a purely humanistic stance, and to the degree that I strive to set myself forth as a beneficial and well intended person in the world, I find it imperative and important that I avoid violent words given with thought and intent. Mind you, I fail at times, but not nearly as much as if I held that my words were powerless things that could be hurled with perfect impunity.

It does not seem to be a past time of interest to many of late. Co-habitation as a species, that is… and violent words are kerosene on an already depressingly stubborn fire.