This writing was prompted by Peyton S. Gendron’s live-streamed killing of ten innocent people who had done the shooter no harm. Gendron‘s so-called manifesto and his actions on the fateful day of May 19, 2022, prove inflammatory words that inspired his horrific act were germinated by people preaching divisive rhetoric.
The Buffalo super-market shooter deserves to be held accountable for assassinating ten innocent people. However, the perpetrators of the hateful and untrue rhetoric that incited Gendron’s violence are also liable for the deaths of those ten innocent people Gendron killed. Moreover, those who promoted the diabolical theories corrupted Gendron’s (a weak-minded little man who lacks moral discernment) morals.
The following litany highlights ways our words impact us, others, and our varied environments – home, work, church, and neighborhood.
- Words matter because they influence culture. Therefore, we should be careful about the things we say.
- Positive words affirm, encourage, inspire, and lift up. They speak life, healing, and peace into existence.
- Negative words kill and destroy people’s reputations, relationships, and livelihoods. In some cases, words crush people’s spirits poking holes in their self-esteem and objectifying them by attacking and questioning their inherent value.
- Upbeat, pleasant words coupled with encouraging actions create warm and nurturing environments in which everyone has the opportunity to grow and flourish.
- Disparaging words shun, exclude, ridicule, and harass. Such terms also create a hostile and abusive atmosphere where hatred and wrongdoing are nurtured and perpetrated.
- When dropped in the hearing of weak-minded people, words can incite violence, including harassment, resulting in stigmatizing and the social genocide of individuals or particular groups.
- Occasionally, negative words lead to unstable people committing horrific acts of violence, including conducting mass shootings, encouraging folk to commit suicide, or taking a neighbor’s life over a petty disagreement or perceived personal insult.
We should choose our words carefully, understanding they have an impact beyond the small group in which the words are uttered.
May God help us speak words of life, healing, and peace. May God’s Holy Spirit gently urge us to recant and repent from saying things that can cause pain and, in some instances, irreparable damage.
God, help humanity.