One must always be careful of one’s words for it will not only be heard by the person who listens but it will remain in their minds and hearts too and it will be up to you if what you want to remain in them would be positive or negative. I hope most of us would choose to leave a positive influence to those we meet and that we do not harm them with our words.
Words are like knives. We may have heard about that before. We may find that statement a cliche but it wouldn’t be a cliche if it wasn’t true. They are like knives because knives can be used in a positive or in a negative way depending on the person who holds it. There are times when people who would use their knife to assist or to give convenience to other people. But there are those times too when the knife is used to hurt and harm other people.
How can words harm people? They are just words. They can’t inflict scratches on your skin, they can’t cut your flesh deeply…
Words may not affect us physically. But the emotional and mental effects it give us are vital to preserve our whole being. If we are to hear negative things about us, or to be told things that we find highly offensive, our thoughts would immediately alter and form new thoughts that will affect our next calculated actions so that we could cover up the imperfections that was pointed out about us. We become insecure. We lose our trust on other people and perhaps the worst of all, we lose trust on ourselves. We would start to think that we’re worthless, we are not enough and that maybe it would be better if we’re gone in this world. (Well, the last one’s a bit extreme, but in reality, there were really people who had gone as far as killing themselves because of the verbal abuse they’ve gone through).
One of the most relevant example is bullying. I’ve had my fair amount of experiences of being bullied when I was younger. It wasn’t as blunt as many of us have seen in the movies, or maybe it’s really like that in other places, but I haven’t experience that intense kind of bullying. The kind of being bullied that I experienced was the subtle kind. It crept into my skin like a snake looking for a prey, it was definitely there but almost invisible. When it started to creep and started to affect me, it slowly sank into me. That was the part where everything became so dangerous and disturbing. I had a war inside of me. No one knew about it but me, and maybe that was the scariest thing of it all. I began to shrink. My self-esteem went tumbling down. I didn’t want to interact with people, except with my closest friends, because I thought that they would just make fun of me.
I felt I was weak, dumb and ugly. I felt that I didn’t have the right to stand beside those people because they were far above me. I felt so out of place. That was the truth. All of those were happening to me. But the thing was, I pretended that they didn’t matter, that they didn’t exist, that I was okay and that I was just playing along with them. Those people may never realize the effect they had on me. It may never come into their minds how much they’ve hurt me, how much they made me doubt myself so much.
When I went into college and found that some of them were in the same school that I went to, I felt a little scared, because I wanted a new life, I wanted a new beginning, I wanted to change myself, to transform and be a better version of myself. But at that time, I thought that the universe was against me. Why is my world so small? I thought. Why can’t I be free from them?
I tried to ignore them and acted like their presence didn’t affect me whenever we came across the corridors. I tried to forget about them. I tried to move forward. But it seemed utterly impossible when I got to see them many times in a week. I think that I got so good in pretending that I almost believed myself. That was one thing I was scared of, I was almost losing myself. I didn’t change for myself, I changed for them and it wasn’t right.
The universe had its ways. Something happened that I ended up transferring into another university. As I think about it now, maybe that was the time when I became truly free from them. Maybe that was the break I needed, the freedom I craved for, for a long time. I don’t see them much anymore. I’m just reminded of them whenever I see their pictures on the social networking sites. But they don’t have that effect on me anymore. The anger I held on for so long had diminished through time as I realized that holding on to that anger and resentment will not do me any good. So I let go and kept moving forward.
Somehow I am thankful for that experience for I will not be as strong and sure about myself right now if it weren’t for their deeds that made me go through days that were full of doubts.
So for all those who are experiencing bullying or had an experience of being bullied, we are strong people for we get to carry that burden and still choose to continue to live everyday, despite. And I say to you that all shall pass. There will come a day that it will all be over. Just hold on, don’t give up and continue to be strong. You’ll never realize how strong you really are when the situation will require it. You may not know it, but you’ve got more strength that you thought you ever had.
Good days and great things will come. I tell you.