Words matter. As a brand storyteller, I have emphasized this in my work with clients. They can be used to provoke or unite us. To inspire or anger us. They can be used as peacemakers or weapons. You can just turn on the news or listen to political talking points to see this in action.
In our highly charged politicized world, and the challenge of ever-changing language, it can be difficult to keep up with what is the current politically correct word and what, just a few years ago, is now no longer socially acceptable to say. But it is about more than just being politically correct, it is about respect for other human beings. Today, I talk about some of those questions that we should all be asking ourselves and how, together, we can do better to understand the power of our words to make the world a safer space for everyone.
To access the episode transcript, please click on the episode title at http://www.TheEmpathyEdge.com
- In today’s world, words such as diversity, inclusion, and equity have been politicized and falsely equated to concepts to which they do not belong. Words such as freedom, patience, and love have also been politicized and weaponized.
- There is nothing worse than being misunderstood, when others take a whole other meaning from what you said rather than what you actually meant to convey
- Discernment is required – when is it worth us attacking each other over word usage, instead of focusing on the cause the word represents?
“Words may change but the mission of connection still needs to be at the heart of it.” — Maria Ross
“It’s not about political correctness. It’s about respect for humans. Throughout history, language has never stayed static so we should be okay with changing terminology if it leads to the greater good and to more inclusivity.” — Maria Ross
“We should strive to honor others and use the right words that don’t demean or oppress. If words are being used to do that, we should adjust. We also should not let words stand in the way of or distract us from the real work either.” — Maria Ross
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