Why We Don't Say Stupid
The media has continued to cover Kobe Bryant's life nearly a month after the devastating news of the helicopter crash that took nine lives. In many ways, I have found it remarkable that the media continues to share people's memories of how Bryant impacted them or changed a trajectory somewhere or influenced a positive change. Usually, the news moves on with stories, not in a cold-hearted way but because news continues to happen. But with this story, I wonder if the media isn't ready to put it aside yet because on many levels it fills us (and them as well) with some measure of hopefulness in the goodness in people. Goodness we have been missing in the stories we see night after night.
We live in a time where it is fashionable to be mean-spirited. For some, having access to constant social media outlets is 'permission' to say anything on their minds. Many people are tired, emotionally, of the barrage of negativity and mean words that come at us from every direction when we open our laptops or apps on our phones. It's like we forgot how to be nice.
My granddaughter tells me, whenever I say the word 'stupid', that we don't use that word. She is four. She is right That is usually an unnecessary word. When I look at the words used by adults in the media, I think they should be listening to a 4-year-old. And remembering the legacy of man like Kobe Bryant, who had flaws as we all do, but who believed in the positive power of encouragement and hope. We can make lives better by speaking good into them. We don't have to accept the narrative offered to us by those who want us to divide and hate; we can change the narrative. We can do it one at a time, neighbor to neighbor, parent to child, child to child
, by refusing to use words that hurt.