Sunday, February 25, 2018

Do Words Have Power

Something that struck me as odd:

My class didn't have the words to the Pledge of Allegiance as vocabulary words until sixth grade. We spent seven years repeating words like parrots, unaware of what we were saying,  and certainly not meaning any of it. It's possible the three Jehovah's Witnesses who didn't say it knew more about it than we did. Or they were just following their parents orders, with no actual idea why everyone said the pledge but them. (One would later be sent to a psychiatric facility, twice, for wishing to convert, and then commit murder partly for that religious freedom of choice.)

What does it mean to pledge your allegiance to a flag? An inanimate object which people have strong feelings about because it represents something. To be clear -- there is a CHRISTIAN based group which is known for burning crosses, the symbol of their church. But burn a 🇺🇸 flag, and watch the national news coverage and debate. Symbol= 🕆Symbol= 🇺🇸 And both are most often something you're born into.  And the people who come to claim those symbols by choice instead, the people who really grasp the meaning and let it impact their lives in a deeply altering way? They're not "real" enough to matter.

Then the Pledge mentions the Republic. Most Americans think we live in a Democracy, not a Republic. They'll fight you on this point of fact. Yeah, that's after pleading their ALLEGIANCE to the Republic for 13 years. Loyalty and commitment, but not remembering which one we have. That's worth considering.

Do words have meaning, have power, when recited without understanding or thought? (Outside of spells, maybe.)

Some people have been mocking my friend behind her back. She just found out today. Not only does she not mock them but,  until today, she didn't even think about them. These people barely know her. Her step kids know their kids (bio, step, adopted, whatever). But these people, who have had next to no interaction with her in person, are obsessed with her weight. Apparently they devote an inordinate amount of time thinking about it, talking about it,  and coming up with ways to mock it amongst each other. In a world full of problems, they're obsessed with the appearance of parent of a friend of a friend of their kid. Still, now that she knows, the words hurt her. (And no, she's not especially heavy. She is incredibly attractive.)

Have those people used words of negativity enough times to equal the time they spent pledging allegiance? It takes about 10 seconds to say they pledge. 180 days in a school year.  1,800 seconds saying the pledge in school a year for 13 years is 23,400 seconds. 6.5 hours.

Is it JUST (as in justice) to mock someone without knowing the cause of what you're mocking? Some people look certain ways by choice, and some due to medical issues they're spending thousands of dollars trying to rectify but medicine hasn't caught up yet.

Liberty and Justice for all.

If you're going to spend 6.5 hours saying it (for no other reason than to not argue with teachers and administrators), maybe take a minute to think about what it means.

Or just don't be a dick. Your words might have the power to ruin someone's day, and that might make a total stranger hate you.