In a sort of survey I carried out less than a week ago (I asked a few people around school and my neighbourhood), I found out someone somewhere in my community is being verbally abused by the hour. ‘Idiot’, ‘good for nothing child’, ‘damn nuisance’, ‘useless thing’, ‘witch/wizard’, ‘rubbish’ and the list goes on. The abuse might be from a “friend”, acquaintance, a teacher, classmates, neighbours, a passerby, taxi driver, bike man popularly called’besikinneur'(they have an exceeding skill in verbal abuse) or even our parents. Words we hear too many times a day and we tell ourselves it’s a normal thing, it’s just a way of communication and all that crap pile of excuses we use to convince ourselves that verbal abuse is no big deal.

We’ve focused so much on physical abuse and its visible effects that we tell ourselves verbal abuse is just a matter of words with no obvious consequences. How many times did you tell yourself you can’t have that job of your dreams because all you heard about you is you’re a good for nothing person? How many times did you quit the path to a new beginning because all anyone ever said is you’re evil and can never change? How many times did you wake up with a headache and a sore body after crying yourself to bed through all the insults which seem not to matter being thrown at you? I think that answers how deep verbal abuse hurts.

I’m not out to give you a mantra that will stop all those words from hurting or prevent those around you from saying what they want to. I’ll tell you what someone I hold dear told me “Guard Your Heart Above All Else”. Don’t let those words get to you, they only have a power over you if you let them. When you hear them tell yourself “I am not a good for nothing person, I’m a huge plus and blessing to someone out there”. Do the things you love and which make you relax, enjoy your talent, develop your skills, challenge yourself to be the best you ever by the day. Don’t allow those words bleed you out till the only thing left of you is a husk. Fun fact is those people hardly know how deep cutting the words they utter could be. So out of love for you and God, Guard Your Heart Above All Else (Proverbs 4:23).

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