“Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”
~ Gautama Buddha
A typical Thursday morning, sitting on my couch drinking my coffee, I reach for my phone and begin scrolling through my social media feeds. This post was shared by a friend and it lit a fire inside of me.
This letter was written by a middle school student in my home town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Written with disgusting words of hatred and cruelty, a girl named Caitlyn, had to be subjected to this. This is not right. I don’t know Caitlyn or anyone involved but I knew I wanted to make my words heard in a positive way. Our Words Have Power is my platform within the Miss Idaho Organization. It’s a platform set out to educate and create change in the way people treat each other both on and offline. Living in a technology driven age, bullying has escalated into drastic attacks of written remarks through text messages and social media sites. Within our nation, communities, and educational systems, there is a need to promote media literacy through teaching appropriate online behavior and stressing the importance of respectable commentary through our words.
I know I couldn’t take the negative words off the bully’s paper so I decided to write my own for Caitlyn. As a child, I was bullied in school. I remember just wanting to escape the mean comments that began to pick away at my confidence and self worth inside. By writing this letter I hope that it not only stands as a wake up call that as a culture we need to change the way we communicate with each other, but as an image of hope that people can choose to heal with words rather than to destroy.
As a title holder, I am setting an example of treating others with respect through what I say and do both on and offline. You as a parent, a friend, a sibling or a peer, can stand up and make a difference as well. Teach words that will heal rather than destroy. Don’t let this behavior be accepted. It time to heal a culture destroyed by words.
Miss Tri-Counties 2016