You often hear the saying, “words matter.” I understand, after working for the paper, more than I ever have, that simple statement. So, I went to the Miriam Webster and Oxford dictionaries and looked up a few I have heard repeatedly in the past few years;
Intolerance: unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one’s own.
Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Ignorance: lack of knowledge or information.
Hypersensitivity: a tendency to be easily hurt, worried, or offended.
Hate: extreme dislike or intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.
I found a few I’d like to replace those with in our daily lives;
Informed: a decision or judgment based on an understanding of the facts of the situation.
Tolerant: willing to accept behaviour and beliefs that are different from your own.
Respect: due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.
Acceptance: the act of accepting something or someone.
Peace: freedom from disturbance; tranquility.
You get my drift. Negativity has ruled in the last few years, and it is exhausting. It needs to change. So, in our daily lives, if we can change the words most often used, maybe it truly will matter and change attitudes.
Life in general has been difficult enough in the last few years. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a very odd time to be headed into a job in the newsroom. It was at the beginning of COVID, another word that rocked our world.
I had much to learn off the starting blocks. I didn’t understand the first thing about writing for a newspaper, let alone deadlines. Putting out a weekly paper. I found to be interesting, but stressful with a high learning curve.
Attending events, talking to people and being out in the community, I truly enjoyed, but along with all the other things COVID, that also was changing fast.
Meetings turned to new technology I think we all struggled with. Social media seemed to be the way folks were turning for the rapidly changing stream of information we were all looking for.
Social media and constant Zoom meetings, made all of us confused, frustrated and unsure at some point in the last three years. It increasingly brought out people willing to say things online they would not necessarily say to your face. At times, I struggled to figure out what was really going on with people.
The news was changing quickly too. In the Trump era, if you want to call those four years that, there were new terms such as fake news, erase culture and outright name-calling, and it made every day chaotic.
Unfortunately for me, part of our jobs as reporters in a small newsroom is to post and monitor our paper’s website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages. To watch what went on there was disheartening, 24/7 and it is exhausting.
I find I am beyond tired. Missing my family. So it is time for me to go. May 5 is my last day, but I will have a few more things left to say… next week!