I don’t know what it is but many of the ideas for articles I come up with are from conversations with my son either going to or coming from school. The other day I was messing with him a little by singing in the car, with the radio off, which makes it oh that much better. He said, “Dad please, please, please, stop!” while covering his ears. I jokingly asked him if he didn’t like it? He adamantly let me know he didn’t. I then asked him if when we got to the school should I sing and dance on the front walkway for him? He turned white because he knew I would do it. He said the following: “No way Dad!” “Your singing and dancing would be like a flashbang, loud and blinding!”
I have to admit I was a little stunned by his use of razor sharp similes. As I dropped him off I said,”You do realize I can make you take violin lessons?” “Have a great day son!” After I dropped him off I thought about our conversation and smiled when it dawned on me that he was just a chip off the ole block.
I remember when I was growing up back in New Jersey that we were all experts at cutdowns and sarcasm. In fact it could have almost been considered a sport. We would tear into each other relentlessly without holding back a single punch.
Now fast forward to today the things we would do and say to each other back then would probably land us in juvenile detention. I wish I was joking about this but it’s true. You see here is the difference, back then we would verbally bloody each other, give each other high fives, and then say, “See ya tomorrow!” Today someone’s safe space would be violated and they’d have a meltdown with the principal and the school psychologist holding their hand.
So what changed? Well actually having a school psychologist is probably one of the reasons but it’s more the victim mentality which has crept into society like a fog coming off a bay but never disappearing when things heat up. In fact it’s now a sport to see who is the bigger victim. As kids we let the words run right off us like water off a duck’s back when today words are like spears through the chest.
This brings me to my personal development message. The question is do words hurt or not? The absolute truthful answer is yes and no. Both answers are correct. What makes the difference? The person. That is the only difference. I’ll blow your mind right now by saying both answers could be correct for the same person.
It is the mindset of the person that determines how they will be affected by words. You as an individual choose which way it’s going to go for you. It’s actually pretty simple. You can either allow words to send you running in a corner or you can choose to ignore, or laugh them off. It is just like anything else. It is how we choose to experience an event that will determine the outcome. This is a common theme within self development from such leaders as Anthony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Wayne Dyer, ect.
An example of my mindset on the subject would be something like this scenario: If someone is saying something with the express intention to try to hurt me I just look at them and say something like, “I’ve been called much worse by much better people than you. What makes you think you can hurt me with your words?” They normally can’t respond to this.
If you teach yourself the right mindset you can’t be harmed by words. But what happened with the youth of today. Well for one thing they are constantly being told that words hurt. They are told that if someone says something you don’t like that you are being bullied. When this happens you need to run away and report it. In summary you are a victim to words! This is fed to them by some parents, teachers, and the media. (By the way there is a really good book by Mike Cernovich regarding mindset. “Guerrilla Mindset” )
The ironic part of this is they feel they are helping the kids when in truth they are hurting their futures. When you are an adult and you have this victim mindset you might as well give up any hope of being successful. There are very few if any successful victims. How many successful people do you see run and hide in a corner when someone says something they don’t like or are insulted? Here’s an example for you, so you want to be President of the United States someday? Our current president has endured probably the worst onslaught of verbal abuse in history. It doesn’t phase him! Do you think that any kid growing up in the systems that we have now could ever last a day of that?
We as parents really need to step back and look at the effects of this in the long term on our kids. Do we want them to be able to function and better yet be successful in the future or do we want them showing up at our retirement village to come stay with us and get hugs because their boss said they did a half assed lousy job? For those adults that get offended or hurt easily by words, a thick skin goes a long way.
By John (Flashbang) Willette