submitted by Stan Daniels
A bullet would be a kinder death.
In this day and age social media is so accessible and we can post anything and say anything. People often don’t realize just how much impact their words can have on another person. Although you do not die physically from words spoken, some folks actually die in spirit, and it grows and grows for a lot of folks to the point that people aren’t living anymore. Resigned to a life of depression and isolation, or anxiety. Living whole lives not feeling connected: folks turn to alcohol and drugs to help sooth the pain.
I do not condone violence or gun violence in anyway, especially in light of all the violence down south. And it’s precisely because of how reckless people are with weapons, that I draw my comparison to guns and words. People use their words as weapons. And just as recklessly. And so in desperation and hopelessness, I ask , would a bullet be kinder?
Definitely not. But whereas a bullet may kill instantly, the pain from words can last a lifetime. How many of us remember the first time we were called ugly or stupid or fat or dumb or worthless or useless. The words and feelings stuck.
But just as negative words can stick, so can words of love and hope. Every day as conversations of unity and Secwepemc unity are thrown around I ask :
What does unity look like ?
What does unity look like for the Secwepemc Nation?
What does unity look like for my Canim Lake community?
What does unity look like for my family ?
- Being heard.
- Being included .
- Recognizing differences as strengths.
- Recognizing individual differences as a collective strength.
- Having respect for one another.
- Having integrity.
- Building trust.
- Being there and showing up.
It is with the intention of ensuring everyone feels heard and included that I do all my work. Letting everyone know that they matter and their voice and story deserves to be heard , that I support everyone , not just some. I see people of all status and power levels as the same. I would hope my kindness shows up the same in every interaction. We tend to see folks through lenses and forget that we are all human and have very human needs, and everything we do serves those needs.
It hurts me to see our folks so divided, but it also excites me. In challenging situations, there is an opportunity. At the end of the day, we are all human, and we need more folks encouraging one another than criticizing each other. Light is more powerful than darkness Love is more powerful than hate. Give peace a chance. Let go of what does not serve you. When we talk about community development, unity , governance , self governance, administration or anything involving people please consider this first : E kwenmintmes es tsilems…Tsuk ren tsetswe7 me7 nekenwentmes. – if it is to be, it is up to me . Good policy begins in the home.
Be the change you wish to see in the world 🙂
(Stan has been involved in the Inclusive Leadership Community for over 15 years now, since the age of fourteen. He is a member of the Tsqescen community in the Shuswap Nation, British Columbia, Canada. He is a currently a student of Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, studying Chemical Addictions Counselling. He has three siblings, is the uncle of two beautiful nieces and family is VERY important to him. Stan is participating and mentoring in the “Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential Online Course”)