I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the power of words.
More specifically, the power of words to hurt.
There’s a saying from my childhood that has always annoyed the hell out of me:
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”
Anyone who has ever been bullied will be able to tell you that this saying is a load of crap.
Words can harm … a great deal.
Writers often talk about how, no matter how many positive reviews their work might get, one nasty review will haunt them for weeks or months to come.
Adults often talk about how an insult made by the playground bully years ago still has the power to take them down.
Said in spite, words have the power to etch their way on to our psyches, leaving a deep scar.
A word that I’ve seen said in spite a lot lately is SNOWFLAKE.
According to Urban Dictionary a snowflake is someone who is ‘overly-sensitive’.
And according to Wikipedia, today’s young adults are known as Generation Snowflake because they’re more prone to ‘taking offence’ than previous generations.
And according to my social media feeds these so-called snowflakes tend to be overly sensitive to and take offence at trivial little issues like racism and bigotry and inequality and climate change and pussy-grabbing and conversion therapy. You know … nothing major.
The other day, I saw a post on Twitter mocking a group of so-called snowflakes and initially it made my blood boil.
How dare they insult young people for daring to care, I ranted. How dare they call people like us (for I too, care about these issues) snowflakes?
But then I had a light-bulb moment.
Being a snowflake isn’t an insult at all.
How can it possibly be a bad thing to care about things like injustice and intolerance and hatred and greed?
Have we seriously become so bitter and jaded as a society that it’s now acceptable to mock people for having feelings?!!
The snowflake haters seriously need to get a grip of themselves.
But in the mean-time, us snowflakes need to take their insults and wear them with pride as badges of honour.
And this really isn’t hard at all.
Not only is it easy to feel proud about caring, the snowflake also provides a beautiful metaphor.
A snowflake (in the true meaning of the word) is beautiful in its design and completely unique … no matter how many of them fall, no two snowflakes will ever be identical.
Snowflakes might be small and delicate individually but when enough of them come together, they can bring entire cities to a standstill.
A bit like what happened on the Women’s March on Washington (and around the world) the other day.
So, to snowflakes the world over … keep being sensitive, keep caring about the things that matter, and keep coming together to bring about much-needed change.
Are you a young adult who cares passionately about what’s going on in the world?
Would you like a platform to share your views?
I’m currently looking for guest writers to feature over on the Moonlight Dreamers website.
If you’d like to be featured or find out more please get in touch via the CONTACT page on this site.