Why do you suppose the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press are in the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution? Because words are powerful.
We teach it to children in anti-bullying curriculum. Words can hurt.
Innocent people in Arizona are dead because a man entered a crowd and started shooting.
Talking heads on television and disembodied voices on the radio are arguing over whether this was just one crazy guy who acted alone or he was driven to this act by politicians and media personalities. I don’t know because all the facts have not been gathered.
But if it is true that this man was driven to violence because of fear and anger stirred up by politicians and media personalities, I would not be shocked. What we say matters. And people who have access to the media due to position or personality must watch what they say.
Words hurt. Let us hope words can also heal.
This year, let us all resolve to use kind words, to think before we speak, and to use our inside voices.
I close with part of my favorite hymns by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller.
Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now. With every step I take let this be my solemn vow: To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.