ne need only watch “13 Reasons Why” to understand the power behind words. They can show love or convey hatred. They have the ability to create life or destroy it. To be wedding vows or to summon a divorce. To start a war or end one. The art of taming the tongue comes only with the passage of time; I learned this important lesson late, but in sincere gratefulness, I thank the Lord that at least Twitter wasn’t around when I hit high school.
Growing up, our household made a consistent habit of making fun of others. It was a dark form of humor that bonded and aided us in getting through some hard times. But at school, I found that it didn’t bode well (whether it was justified, or not). The people I’d talk to would nod and agree but inevitably, word would get out on what I’d said about someone else and spread like a dangerous wild fire (and this was pre-cell phones, people).
In the fall of my sophomore year, I found that my cheeks were on fire with embarrassment as I realized that the entire English class’s attention was on me. My eyes filled with tears and I was afraid to lift my head from the paper on my desk. They had done it to me again. The bright, orange sheet read: “Homecoming Hit List 1999…#2. Jen Thomas…#1. Hailley….” Hailley?? That was my name and what was it doing on the top again?