By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins
My heart is broken tonight. For a myriad of reasons that I won’t get into here, I am deeply devastated by the events in Ferguson. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and it won’t be the last. There are a lot of opinions on what should have happened. People have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and their blogs to express their opinions. Many people are likely arguing with each other in comments on the Huffington Post, the New York Times, CNN and more. Honestly, none of it is getting us anywhere.
As a writer, I know the power of writing. I know the power of words. You know it too. When we were kids, most of us heard the phrase “sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me.” It simply isn’t true. Words hurt, a lot. Especially when people are grieving.
I want to take this time to remind you all, that when you are writing your posts, your fiction, your non-fiction, to be civil. When you are writing your Twitter posts and hashtagging on Instagram, to be kind. But most of all, we need to be forgiving. We all have blind spots, and we all have perspectives that may not be understood by everyone else.
If you must get out your feelings, write it out in private. Do not add insult to injury by saying things you may not fully understand. Words can tear people apart, but words can also be a dramatic healing force. Words can encourage and inspire the downtrodden. The right words can make the difference between a smile and a grimace. It is not always easy to address difficult subjects in writing, but hold onto your own integrity and whatever you have to say, choose to say it with class. There are too many negative words that divide us. I am calling on you as a writer to help unite us.
What is the most uplifting thing you’ve ever read? How did it make you feel?