Friday, October 5, 2007

Defining our Lives

In a persons lifetime, they will do many things. Some good, some bad, some of no mention. Our religion does not matter, our political affiliations don't matter, our legacy is always defined the same. Mother Teresa is not known for being Catholic, though she was. She is known for helping the poor and suffering. While the fact that she questioned her faith tarnish her legacy? Surely not, her deeds remain. People remember Elvis Presley because of his singing. The fact that he did drugs and died on the toilet make no difference. Nixon is defined by Watergate, Lincoln by the Civil War, and Truman by the Atomic Bomb. Our legacy is the sum of our lives, divided by the events that made a difference, for better or worse.

The reason why this is important is that I see so many people on forums and blogs that take their words lightly. They will quickly and easily say things about people that are hurtful and harmful just because the can't see them face to face. As well, they don't take that treatment back lightly. Feelings get hurt and people leave over what? Over ideas. Ideas are powerful, strong and compelling, with the power to change nations over night! But ideas can be used to harm others. Ideas, used properly, can hurt feelings and destroy self worth. Ideas are the things nations are built on, and empires are destroyed. Ideas with unbridled passion are as dangerous as any bomb.

I encourage people to speak their mind, but do so with deference towards other people. I speak to my self as well here. I have often said things in haste and typed them down and wish I hadn't later. That type of temper and action are what can mold ideas into a weapon of great force for wrong doing. Words must be typed and written thoughtfully, lest we destroy our fellow man. Words have the ability to knock people down and prevent them from getting back up. As fellow human beings, words should be used carefully, with purpose, with thoughtfulness, to maximize their impact, but minimize their damage. Remember that next time someone disagrees with you and hurls an insult at you. It is our moral duty to take the moral high ground and defend other and abstain from insulting others. Its difficult, and something I fail at often. But it is something I want to strive for. For ultimately, when we die, words and deeds are what define our lives. We are the sum of all our words, and all our actions. Both should be handled with care.

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