Writing a blog has been interesting these past two years and I've found that it has the same pitfalls as face-to-face conversations. There's the word spoken and the word interpreted. In this case the word written and the word interpreted. Over the time I've been writing I've had more than one occasion to discover I'd offended one of my children (inadvertently, of course!) and usually it completely took me by surprise. Because I knew the intention behind my words, never guessing that they could be interpreted in a different way. It hasn't happened recently (I don't think!) but the fact that it ever has at all makes me think a lot about the weight of words.
Which all leads me to think about how we communicate with each other in life. How many times do we innocently say something to someone and they take it another way, causing irreparable harm to the relationship? How many people are hurt by our words, when we meant no ill will? How many times do we misinterpret what others say to us, taking up an offense when none should be had? It boggles the mind, really.
I've known many people in my life who are what we might term "ultra-sensitive". Recently a friend told me she didn't want to attend a class reunion because of some perceived offense at the last one. I was hard pressed to imagine that the person she thought was unkind to her truly was because I know them well and it doesn't seem to be in their nature. I was sure something had been misunderstood. Sadly so.
They're only words....isn't that what the BeeGees sang? But how very powerful they are!