“A whole lot of us have been hung by the tongue,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes. This is one of my favorite quotes and I reflected on it as I read the latest news regarding Paula Deen.
She admits to using the “N-word and making racist and anti-semitic jokes.” Also, “The deposition, which was reportedly held on May 17, took place as part of a court case brought forth by former Paula Deen Enterprises employee Lisa Jackson against Deen and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers. Jackson alleges several instances of sexual and racial workplace discrimination,” (Paula Deen Racist Comments, Use Of N-Word Allegedly Caught On Video).
After a few days of either reading or watching the latest about Deen, what stuck out to me was the power of her words. Although she has apologized, what she initially said outweighed her apology and “The Food Network” didn’t renew her contract. Also, she may loose several endorsements.
But this article isn’t to debate whether what she said and allegedly did was right or wrong but to remind ourselves about the power of our words. While some give compliments or speak kind words, others get a high out of either tearing people down or negatively manipulating a situation to their advantage by the way they orchestrate their words.
An example is a few months ago, I was in a business meeting and the negative things my director said towards women made my jaw drop. Instead of him going to whomever he had an issue with, he generalized his statement and chastised all of the women who were at the meeting.
I was so insulted about his comments that I mentioned them to another woman after the meeting. And her response was, “Oh, that’s how he talks to people.”
Yes, that may be how he talks to people but I am not going to sit her in another instance and allow him to talk to me in that manner. I told her if he starts with the negative generalizations in the future, I am going to take my belongings and quietly exit the meeting. And later go to him to discuss how his words offended me.
Therefore, ask yourself these questions before you either speak or type a comment. What type of conversations (private or public) are you having? Can your words either harm your character or career?
And think hard about what you say before you either speak or type anything that has the capability of coming back to haunt you.
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain,” James 1:26.