Welcome to Silver and Shadow

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This is a blog I will be using for topics other than food. Politics, religion, spirituality, humor, green living, anything that I want to talk about that doesn't fall under the food/cooking category.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Power of Words

The written word, specifically.

After becoming embroiled in a discussion I hadn't planned on entering on Facebook this morning, I am yet again reminded of the power of words. The scenario: a person passes along an email they received that uses a Bible passage to "prove" that liberals are fools and conservatives are wise people. The email is passed on with only the message "I felt compelled to share this." Naturally this ruffled feathers between the poster and their liberal friends, myself among them. What stands out the most to me about this is that the words used for this shared email were hurtful, and done so in a truly passive aggressive manner designed to be hurtful. And even had the audacity to try and imply that God approved of such hurtfulness, because it's in the Bible, after all... The person who posted this by not stating their outrage or disbelief of the email is by default agreeing with it even if they later claim they don't. This is why we must choose our words so carefully. Particularly in a non-verbal setting when we can't see body language, or hear tone of voice.

I wish people could understand this before they write things or share other people's things that they wrote. I think some people have a natural way with words, and some people do not. This isn't to say that they cannot learn and improve with time, but they must first see that this is perhaps not a gift given to them and that they will have to always think harder and first before writing or sharing anything, particularly in an online situation. Thinking before writing is always a good rule of thumb.

What I also wish that people who claim to be Christians and people who wish to bring people together in Christ, could realize that they can do so much damage with their words. As a person who is liberal in politics and her spiritual stance, hearing insulting words passed on as though they come from God Himself certainly doesn't make me want to visit a church again any time soon. Not if I'll be surrounded by haters like that who judge me silently, or not-so silently, for my beliefs that clearly differ from theirs. So, by passing along a message without really thinking about the implications and consequences, this person has actually managed to anger and continue to distance from God, the very people they wish to win over for God. And this is why we must all choose and use our words so carefully, especially online. You never know who else will be reading them and what message you might be passing on to them.


  1. Once again Summer, well put. I couldn't agree more with the reference to the danger of online arguments, and I think it's worth taking it a step further. We should take care putting hurtful or biased words in all forms. When people are speaking and things get heated, at least one can usually see it coming. We can also apologize immediately when we see we've hurt someone and begin to tone the conversation down a few notches. But once it's in 'black and white', it cannot easily be taken back or modified. I learned that lesson the hard way. Online comments are risky, as you can't easily stop what's 'out there'. Thanks for writing this, Summer.

  2. Summer, I read your comments on my page this evening. I am sorry you feel the way you do. I didn't write those words from the Bible, the Bible is written by men INSPIRED by God. And, as I said, those people who say there are misinterpretations of the Bible, seem to be the ones doing the misinterpreting.
    I feel that God's word is pretty clear on things. Some day, I hope you will realize this yourself. Take care. I wish you nothing but the best.

  3. I am a closet foodie....meaning I am just learning the joy of finding a recipe and actually cooking it myself. Love your foodie blog! You have a way with words that truly is a gift. Thanks for sharing. (it was fun to find you write about more than food!)