I have my faults; trust me, I know what they are. I am far from squeaky clean. I work hard on being my best self, knowing that I sometimes fail. I may have said or done something that a reader remembers when I was not being my best, and if so, I sincerely apologize. To those I know that I have hurt or offended, I have apologized. Some of you come to mind. And in a fit of anger, which hasn’t happened to me many times, but has happened a few times, I have used some of the words I am writing about. But I have not used these words in everyday language while doing so seems so commonplace these days by many people. A few examples.
I was listening to an audiotape today and it was laced with profanity. The S… and F… words were used liberally throughout. Normally, I would have turned the tape off when the first profane word was said, but I didn’t, thinking that certainly, the author who was reading his book would clean up his language. But he didn’t; it got so much worse. I was amazed. I could not learn anything from his content; his message was wasted on me due to his extreme use of profanity.
I had not planned to write this blog tonight and had not planned for this to be the subject of this week’s blog. And then I was scrolling through email and read an email that I was copied on from a writer who is in a writer’s group that I belong to. A sentence in the email, “I just get the story down quickly and to h…with grammar and punctuation” hit me the wrong way, so I began to write.
Is it not possible for some people to express themselves without profanity? Maybe not. While I am writing this The Voice is on, and I hear Blake Shelton, who I love, say to a contestant, “You sang your a.. off!” Now, could a star as talented as Blake Shelton not find a better way to express himself?! Of course, he could, but the words h…, s…, d…, a.., and f… have become so commonplace that they seem to just roll off the tongues. Profanity has become so common that I doubt that many who use these words even hear themselves. And apparently many people are not bothered by it, or it would change.
My comments are not intended in any way to change language between family members or friends, although hearing family and friends use the words does bother me. But that is not my business, unless it is my children (who are in their 40’s) doing so, and my business or not, they would hear from me about it! Thankfully, I do not need to have that conversation with them, for they do not speak those words, at least not where I can hear them!
My concern is with Leaders, including speakers, teachers, authors, legislators, and anyone in a position of influence over others. These are people who are supposed to inspire others to be their best, who serve others, and who have young adults and impressionable young people getting their opinions of right and wrong from them. I am very concerned that anyone with a platform or a pulpit present themselves as wholesome and above (easy) reproach. And remember, I have already said that I have failed also by using some of these words occasionally, but never from a platform or in my writings. Not in an email, not in an article, not in a book. I have found ways to express myself without doing so.
The quote “Who you are speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say” seems appropriate in this discussion. If a speaker or author is talking about success, I cannot believe their message when who they are is in the way.
I invite others to join me in this crusade. Let’s not spend our money listening to or reading about the baseness of life. Let’s elevate ourselves to a higher standard, so we are worthy of the platforms upon which we are privileged to speak.