Growing up as little children, we learned the rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever came up with that, lied. Words can hurt and sometimes even deeper than being physically hit. What someone says can penetrate deep within our minds and subconscious and stay with us for a lifetime. I personally know what it feels like to hear negative comments from friends and family growing up and it has taken me a lifetime to change the trajectory of how I think about myself. Because of my childhood experiences, I was determined when I became a mother to plant positive seeds in my children (and others) about who they are and how much they are loved.
Recently in the news, and widespread across social media, we heard that Snoop Dogg was upset with Gayle King for how she questioned Lisa Leslie in an interview pertaining to Kobe Bryant and the 2003 rape case. I understand the frustration he must have felt regarding the situation and tainting Kobe’s legacy (especially so soon after his tragic death). However, there was no excuse for the language he used and for the platform (social media) he used to express his thoughts. I know that he eventually made a public apology and I am happy he was man enough to do so; but once something has been put out into the universe, the initial damage is done, and it can take a long time for healing and forgiveness to take place. True forgiveness and healing can happen but will be a process.
I am an advocate for forgiveness, and I do believe it can change lives forever once given and received. It is crucial for all of us to give some serious thought about what we say and do before we do it. Oftentimes when we act hastily and move forward with anger or bitterness, we often regret how we’ve behaved later. When in this space, I recommend you first STOP and think about everything and what the consequences might be if you say something that can hurt other people. Count to 100 and if time is not of the essence, sleep on it. Sleep and space can add an entirely new perspective on how to handle a situation. Secondly, after you’ve had a chance to think about the situation, then think about how you would feel if someone responded to you in the same manner. Put the mirror on you. Finally, in sharing how you feel, be respectful and if it isn’t positive you don’t have to do it publicly (and especially not on social media). Every action causes a reaction and sowing negativity very rarely produces a positive result.
I want to be clear; I understand that some situations may cause for a serious or hard conversation, but we always have the option to express ourselves in a proper tone. In the case between Snoop Dogg and Gayle King, because of the way it was put out into the atmosphere, it caused others to get involved and take sides. We all have the right to our opinions, but when they affect others, we should care enough about the greater good than to just put people on blast and call them out of their name. After all, regarding the scenario between Snoop and Gayle, I don’t believe she meant to be malicious, but rather as a journalist she may have just been trying to make sure she covered all her bases. It may have been perceived as insensitive to some, but I don’t believe her heart was in the wrong place.
Let’s try and give people the benefit of the doubt before we speak. Family, there’s enough negativity in the world; we don’t need to continue the cycle. Keep your head up and, when in doubt, your mouth shut.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!
Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker.