Words are the tools

Today at Yom Kippur services, the rabbi spoke about words.

“Words are the tools we use to create our world,” she said.*

As a writer, this struck home. Words are my everyday tools, and I can spend long minutes typing and deleting and looking up synonyms in a thesaurus, all to try and find the precise word that means what I want to say.

During the rest of the service as we prayed and meditated in atonement for our sins of the past year, it occurred to me that words are also our weapons. My tongue can be sharp, and without thinking, sometimes I cut those closest to me with it. For that, I atone and will do better in the coming year.

Too often we hurt people we do not and never will know with our words. It is so easy to say harsh, cruel, or demeaning things – particularly when we hide behind the screen of our computers or our phones. Especially this year, words are being used as weapons every day, knowingly and with hurtful intent.

“You don’t need to kill with a sword, the tongue can do equally a better job and police will not knock on your door” 
― Bangambiki HabyarimanaThe Great Pearl of Wisdom

The police may not knock on our doors, but that doesn’t make the injury any less.

Let our words be tools.

May you & yours be inscribed for good this year!

 

*I believe this was a quotation, but sadly, I don’t remember the attribution.
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