| 18.6°C Dublin

Thoughtless words can cut deep

• Words are powerful weapons and can kill. Don't believe me? Why then did two young girls on this island lose their lives in the past few weeks because of cyber bullying? Two girls who could have been future presidents, future scientists, future Nobel Peace Prize winners; two lives lost because of words, two families destroyed needlessly.

Who do we turn to to blame? Do we blame those from whose mouths the words fell? Do we blame our wonderful advances in technology for providing an added outlet for bullying? Do we blame the media? The media is a powerful tool -- ask any dictator. In the current US presidential campaign and in our own Dail sittings, people in power use hurtful words.

Or do we accept each and every one of us has blood on our hands in this current war? When was the last time you passed a snide remark; mocked someone because of their beliefs, the way they dressed, what they ate? Did you justify the remark by adding: "I was only joking?" Did the receiver laugh? How do you know they walked away uninjured? You don't.

Attitude reflects leadership. How are the young in our society to act in a kind manner if we as adults don't do the same? Can a child be blamed for calling someone a name when they first heard that name being used in their own home?

Our workplaces, our schools and our homes are filled with hurtful words; it's time we took a stance in this war and each and every one of us took responsibility for our actions. We need to think before we speak because, after all, we are using power tools.

Somewhere in our past we were all provided with a lesson in health and safety, be it in the use of matches and and what to do in the event of a fire. It's time to learn the same lesson on the use of words, which can do the same damage as a knife, a gun or a bomb.

Let's use words to be kind to one another.

Marie Hanna Curran
Colmanstown, Co Galway

Irish Independent