Free others from your falsified words
Stephanie Snyder | Friday, April 21, 2017
What if I tell you that I completely have my life in order – that I am going to be interning at not one, but two renowned companies this summer, that I only have a job at school because it’s something I enjoy doing rather than something I need to be doing for a paycheck, or that I get straight As without even trying.
Maybe you would believe me because this column is printed in hundreds of papers across campus in black ink that has already become one with the page.
What if, instead, I tell you that I’m drowning – that school used to be a priority but no longer is because I can’t keep up, that I spend so much time working and doing school work that I haven’t talked to my family in weeks and my roommates in three days, that even though I know I am luckier than many people on this earth, I’m still not satisfied with where I am.
Things just got more complicated – now what are you supposed to believe? Was one of those scenarios true? Was one untrue? Was there a little truth to both? Or none at all?
Only I know. So let’s move on.
What if what I tell you is no longer about me – that your kind words keep me going during the day, your hard work ethic inspires me to work harder, your charming smile is contagious?
If we knew each other, would those words make you feel good about yourself?
What if, instead, I tell you that I can’t stand to be around you because any kind words you give have a demeaning undertone, what you consider to be hard work isn’t good enough so you need to work harder, and your incessant smiling is more obnoxious than it is contagious.
I imagine you probably wouldn’t appreciate those words as much. So then, what if I tell someone else those things about you? You would know they’re not true, but would the others?
Every word I speak or write I can use to manipulate you to think what I want you to think. Even if you don’t know if what I say is true, you couldn’t know.
Words have power. If you’ve never been negatively affected by words before, maybe you didn’t know this, or maybe you have been told this and you just didn’t process the extent of how much truth that statement holds. When you lie, you’re purposely manipulating other people to do your bidding, but why? One would think grown adults would know better. One would think a grown adult would know the imminent consequences. One would think a grown adult would have enough respect to be honest. One would think a grown adult wouldn’t be so selfish as to take someone else as prisoner to their manipulating locutions.
Take to heart what I know you all have learned even before you entered preschool and free others from your falsified words.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.