My Gay Adoption Day 469 :: Words, Words, Words
Words are the most powerful agents of both good and evil on the planet; they can impact feelings, change truths, create joy and incite war. Rudyard Kipling called words "the most powerful drug used by mankind." Spoken without forethought, they can cause intense harm. But when ingested by a being with the strength of internal convictions, they can be disarmed of their ability to injure.
Such is the duality of responsibility in the world of communications; I’m a writer, and strive to use words to do good. But similar, no doubt, were the aims of the advocacy group behind viral video KONY 2012, currently making waves across the internet - and the pundits are arguing vociferously as to whether that social-media-fueled frenzy is a force for good, or for further complications in the incendiary world of Uganda. And if you’d like, consider the words of Jesus Christ - fabricated or not - that have spawned across history both mass killings and the world’s largest religion, based on peace and love.
The key to these dichotomies lie in the responsibility of us as individuals to process communication according to our own inner fulcra of morality and self-awareness. The group behind KONY 2012 want you to believe that buying a bracelet to raise awareness will help solve issues in Uganda; not so. And the Catholic Church wants you to believe that being gay is an abomination in God’s eyes; also not so. But these words represent the opinions of individuals, and if we blindly mistake their opinions for truth, we lay our loved ones, our race at large, and ourselves at risk for harm. Information must be processed, altered, and ingested responsibly.
Kevin and I sat to dinner a few nights ago with family members; we urged them to cease using the phrase "given up for adoption" when referring to the child we’re expecting. The conversation revolved briefly around the potential harm that phrase can do to a child who shouldn’t want to be told that her mother "gave her up" - but rather than she chose us to parent her instead. The implication otherwise is that the child is not wanted.