The walking wounded are easy targets. If you want to communicate your prejudices, or just be downright hateful, you won’t miss the mark if you find someone who is already struggling with life. They are perfect targets for negative messages, caustic comments, and sarcastic humor. Believe me your message will not go unheeded. You will hit the target without a doubt. There is no need to wait around for a damage report. You will successfully crush the person that is on the receiving end of your verbal darts.
The walking wounded are easy targets. But most people are not intentionally hurtful with their words. I think… As a general rule, most people don’t get up in the morning with the intent of being purposely mean to another person. We don’t want others to be hurt by our humor either. But it happens.
The walking wounded are easy targets. But I did not know he was struggling? I was not aware that her husband left her. I did not know that he was recently diagnosed with cancer. And I was not aware that she grew up being abused for years…. We are quick to speak to and about people in all kinds of negative ways, but we know so little of their story…
The walking wounded are easy targets. I observed three such individuals get shot down with careless words this past week. The scenarios fell into three different categories.
· Hurtful Humor: If another person is hurt by our humor, then it is not funny. It is that simple. I saw an example this week of someone using humor to get a point across. But the only thing he accomplished was to burn a relational bridge. His words were not funny. They were hurtful.
· Confidence Killers: When it comes to those that are younger than me, I had better be the person that is building them up. I had better be a confidence builder. It is my duty. But this week I observed someone affected by a potential confidence killer. The words were not helpful.
· Misplaced Words: Sometimes we just don’t think before we speak. And our words tear down instead of building up. I observed that this week too.
The walking wounded are easy targets. They are already hurting. They have full emotional plates. And someone comes along and hits the bulls-eye again. I suggest we work at being more purposed in our communication. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Think through our words carefully. In fact, why not think first and then speak? Be purposed in building others up. Consider the implications of our humor. The fact is…most of us can be characterized as the walking wounded.