Tuesday, February 9, 2016

366 Project - Day 40 - "Abstract (Razor Blades)"

February 09, 2016 - "Abstract (Razor Blades)"

I have a package of a hundred razor blades. I use them for sizing artwork and for cutting boxes and packing materials for things I sell on eBay - stuff like that.

In my days as a picture framer, razor blades were a common part of everyday life. I'd hold them in my mouth as I was working with artwork and matting. Sometimes - if I was bored - I'd spin them around in my mouth with my tongue - which used to freak my brother out. I'd never get cut though. Not even the slightest knick. I'd cut myself working with sheets of glass all of the time - but never with the razor blades.

It's funny though, how something so small and seemingly "insignificant" can hold the potential of causing incredible damage... hurt... pain... and even permanent scars.

That's true of a lot of things in life though, isn't it? Take "words" for example; they can be much smaller than a razor blade - yet do a thousand times more damage. A cut from a razor blade can heal rather quickly and smoothly... and sometimes without leaving the slightest scar - yet certain words said to someone we care for can bring about such pain and anger and hurt that it becomes a wound that can never be completely healed. Once such words have been said, it's impossible to "un-hear" them.

Today's society has a habit of throwing around words without thinking of the consequences of what is being said. Even a word with only four letters can be used in a moment of frustration or anger as if it were nothing at all... and without any thought for just how damaging it might be to the person it is being so casually flung at.

The careless use of words goes far beyond such "one-on-one" exchanges. The frequent use of negative or hateful words floods everything from Facebook to television and everything in between. Not a day goes by that I can scroll through my Facebook feed without seeing some sort of negative words being thrown around at someone - whether it's someone bashing the President of the United States... a particular political candidate or party... a particular religion... a particular race or nationality... a particular lifestyle, or whatever. From hateful posts and jokes about President Obama to hateful posts and jokes about Republicans and Democrats. From hateful posts and jokes about Muslims to hateful posts and jokes about Christians or the Catholic Church or whatever. I see it from both the "right" and the "left"... from "conservatives" and from "liberals"... from the "religious" and the "non-religious" - it seems to know no bounds, and I fully admit that I have contributed to the problem many times as well!

In some ways "words" are among the most powerful things we possess. They can certainly be among our most dangerous and damaging weapons.

In Chapter 12 of Luke's Gospel, Jesus says: "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."

"Uncle Ben" from the Spiderman comics sums up that verse beautifully when he says: "With great power comes great responsibility."

Perhaps it's time that we realize just how much power we truly possess... and start choosing to use that power responsibly.

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