Before You Speak Think

Before you speak think
graphic ©

“Before you speak… THINK!
Is it True?
Is is Helpful?
Is it Inspiring?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?”

All too often, words just come right off our mouths when our emotions heighten or when we don’t respect the people we are speaking to. It may feel liberating for some to have this so-called “freedom of speech” but speaking without thinking brings more harm than good.

W. Penn Handwerker, a medical anthropologist says that hurtful words from people we admire or have some power over our lives can leave psychological scars that may lead to heart disease, depression, suicide or stress. True enough, those who are close to our hearts are the ones who could bring more damage. It may take less than a minute to say hurtful words but the effect can last a lifetime.

Verbal abuse leads to fear as apparent in the study that says 160,000 students miss school everyday due to fear to being harassed. In another study set in England, it was found that verbal abuse such as name-calling and bullying had a significant and lasting impact on children’s self-esteem. As a result, at least one-third of the victims suffered from post-traumatic stress. It is for this reason that Dr. Stephen Joseph, a psychologist at Warwick University, maintains that peer victimization should be taken seriously as symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, and depression are present among bullied adolescents. Even as we age, we can never truly immune ourselves from the pain of hurtful words. However, we can make a better world by following the THINK guidelines and setting an example to the younger generations.

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