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Word Peace … on the Tip of Your Tongue!

Posted by at 5:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)


Word Peace … on the Tip of Your Tongue! by Kris lecakes HaleyWorld peace is always a relevant topic. Recently, however, I realized that I might actually be sabotaging that goal and negatively impacting animals to boot! Let me explain.

Campaigning for the rights of animals for more than 30 years, I thought I’d covered all the bases. As a passionate vegan, I’d rejected fur, leather, wool, down, and silk. I only purchase cruelty-free cosmetics and household products and have been active in my local animal rights group for years. But there was one thing I wasn’t doing! I came to realize that my vocabulary may be compromising my advocacy!

You’d likely disagree if I suggested that you might be referring to animals disparagingly, but I invite you to see if any of the following phrases ever sneak into your conversations:

  • I can kill two birds with one stone.
  • You can’t beat a dead horse.
  • He’s a dirty dog (or rat).
  • She’s such a fat pig.

I wondered … does the road to a sustainable world peace start by developing and articulating consistent word peace? I would become my first student, and I am currently writing a book about it!

While word peace points out our tendency to use animals to reinforce negative messages about each other, it also creates a linguistic safety net to rescue us from a lifetime of disjointed dialogue-a net that helps to infuse peace into the words we speak.

Compassionate conversation, then, chips away at the wall of desensitization separating us from experiencing a deeper level of compassion and empathy with the world’s animals and, ultimately, with each other.

Some say that when we intentionally speak insensitively, we create a vibrational consequence that affects not just our bodies but also our minds, our hearts, and our very souls. It also impacts those around us, influencing the well-being of everyone we interact with. However-and here’s the newsflash-unintentional utterances do the very same thing. In fact, they may be even more damaging unless we acknowledge a fundamental disconnect between what we truly believe and how poorly we communicate it.

Word peace has a particular message, focusing squarely upon the words we use that impact animals-the innocents with whom we share the planet, who are frequently the most disparaged-and how our careless communication choices may just contribute to that status. Word peace proposes a change … a new and discriminating awareness that will shift the paradigm from distance and disassociation to compassion and connection.

I invite you to join me on an excursion to enlightened expression where dedicated dialogue becomes word peace. Once you start paying attention to your words, you will be amazed at the deep patterns we’ve created that perpetuate verbal violence. You’ll also experience the joy of catching yourself in the act and creating immediate change.

Remember: Our thoughts become our experiences-and our words communicate them.

Daunted?  Don’t be! Word peace is right on the tip of your tongue!

What phrases do you use that need word peace? That book’s not done yet!

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8 Comments

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    Edel Sanders says...

    September 16th, 2011, 6:49 pm

    Fantastic idea and so important! Here’s a few changes I’ve made:

    I always say “Save two birds with one sweep” to avoid that terrible phrase from which it came.

    “Guardian” is so much better than “owner” when referring to companion animals.

    “He” or “She” but never “It”!

    Of course, the phrase “bird brain” is not only disparaging, but is incorrect. Cognitive scientists now know how intelligent birds are in many domains. (Check out the crows at The University of Cambridge who put two tools together to make one tool, a skill humans have claimed until recently was only human. And note Snowball on You Tube, who keeps better rhythm than many people. And let’s never forget the birds who are the most mistreated of all, chickens. They have shown intelligence similar to that of primates.)

    All the best in your work!

    Edel Sanders
    PhD candidate U of Cambridge
    Cognitive Science and Psychology in Education

    Patty Bowers says...

    September 16th, 2011, 11:15 pm

    Thanks Kris,
    This is SUCH an important article and I’m glad you articulated the same feelings I have about being careful what we think, say and put out there in all forms. Also when a friend of mine became ill we stopped saying things like “That chocolate is to DIE for” and changed it to “That chocloate is to LIVE for!” You are so right about how those old sayings about animals desensitize people to them. Lets tell all our friends the same thing too! No more “bird brained”, “pig stye”, “lousy rat”, etc!! We LOVE animals and want to honor them in ALL ways.
    Namaste,
    Patty

    Geisa Lopes says...

    September 17th, 2011, 9:25 am

    I totally agree. It’s been a time that I have been pay attention to de way I speak. Try to ofense somebody is not good thing, specially when you compare this person to an animal who is the more blessed and innocent creature in the world. I’m from Brazil and learned English from a school and I remember the teacher taught us to refer to the animals like “it” but I never agreed with that and always since the beggining I refered to they as “he” or “she”, never “it”. To me “it” is a thing like a cup, a spoon, but never an animal or a tree.
    Congratulations for your post.

    Romani says...

    September 17th, 2011, 5:36 pm

    Absolutely correct! I have been against all of the above sayings and anything like it for many years and tend to call others on it when I hear them say similar, thoughtless phrases…refrain from even giving them There are so many other ways to say things. Why just the other day a friend of mine referred to someone as a ‘cow’…I made her apologize to cows for the insult at being compared to a human!

    cath ens says...

    September 18th, 2011, 9:21 am

    There are many phrases that have been entrenched in the language that, I suppose, (until one actually realizes what they have really said) we never think about. One of my ‘anti’-favourites …is “I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him”…I dread to think where that eminated from. For years I have thought about semantics and how important our every-day language really is. very important to Liberate in every way, including language.

    Rob Tierney says...

    September 19th, 2011, 6:47 pm

    Such good points. Referring to an animal is distancing, probably advocated by users like Descartes. And yes, agreed, “it” should be limited to things and ocncepts. Then again, the use of “he” and “she” is inconvenient and unnecessary.

    Jacob Dijkstra,M.D. says...

    September 19th, 2011, 8:16 pm

    I totally agree. I started to eliminate these phrases a long time ago, including not using the phrase ” not being a guinea pig”, when I explain to patients why I will not use a controversial medication for their condition.

    Molly says...

    September 20th, 2011, 11:09 am

    This article is fantastic! I will make a more conscious effort to not use these cliches. Many people do not realize they can be detrimental and I will definitely be looking for your book when its out! :)

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