Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Dreadful Power of Words

I cannot help but see the pain and suffering written about on the forum, and which is caused by words.
I noted particularly two instances. One woman who wrote about her husband being told that, ‘he did not deserve his disability rating,’ if I remember that correctly. The other was a woman who was told she was ‘drug seeking’ when she was in pain.
It is hard enough to deal with this kind of thoughtless, rude and spiteful behavior when we are feeling good and able to cope with life. For someone who is already dealing with overwhelming problems, words like this can send them perilously close to the edge. What our loved ones suffer, we suffer with them and for them.
I sat wondering why people have to be so cruel, angry or mean spirited as to have to inflict this kind of pain on others. These are obviously not ignorant or poorly educated people. If they were, their words would not carry as much weight. These are people who are intelligent enough to hold down a job, have got some kind of formal education, and are in a position to inflict hurt. Why do they? What do they get out of this? I can only assume that it is some kind of power trip. They get their thrill on having power over others. Sadly it is the same kind of power trip that abusers use to keep abusing their wives or children or their animals. These people are weak inside. They have no power over self, so they use what they have to power over others.
It is a tragedy that they are in positions to cause so much pain to those who least deserve it. I wonder how many suicides have been caused by spiteful and twisted remarks to people who have no ability to see these words for what they are – painful evidence of a soul in torment because it cannot deal with its own junk.
It takes the power of many strong and supportive words to help undo the damage caused by one malicious word. We caregivers spend our days offering kind, gentle and supportive words to our Vets and our families, yet many still have time to offer support to others. It is only by this that we survive.
Our words are important and certainly they are not the least of all the other important things we do.


  1. I could not agree more. I have to filter all information. The complete lack of any semblence of humanity and compassion that is used when dealing with our Veterans is absolutely disgracefull. I monitor the mail and have to gloss over information that I do get because honestly most of it could be the final straw for my hubby on any given day.

  2. Well put Vetspouse3!!
    Excellent article VetFriend. Thank you for writing and sharing it.
    Over the years, this topic has been the center of many discussion by retied veterans - the inappropriate comments and actions by others and collectively, we agree that they simply don't get it. They have never been exposed and could care less about understanding - keeping their distance and moving to the next person.
    I remember my dad talking about 'walking a mile' in my shoes before making rash decisions and judgment of others.
    We need to find a way to help those poor, misguided souls to understand the error of their ways, and treat the veterans with the respect and kindness they so richly deserve.