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A Lil’ Inspiration #4

The Power of Words

Instagram Jill 3.5.16Today’s Words of Wisdom come from Woman on the Move, Jill Khoury. The first time I saw this quote back in 2014 the words struck me with such a powerful blow I had to reflect on my use of not only this particular word but on other words that can influence how we as a society might view any given situation.

There is a challenge in conquering stigmas but if we begin to pay close attention to what we are saying and how we are saying it, this will bring us closer to victory!!  I posted this quote to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Saturday and it’s become so popular that I had to share it here as well.

Following is a Facebook comment from Jill posted yesterday and immediately following her comment is the quoted text and image description:

Stephanae McCoy is a blind blogger and fashionista turned community organizer. She raises awareness of blindness issues by profiling many talented, expressive women in her “Women on the Move” series. I am humbled by her generous heart and her take-charge spirit. She’s helped me realize the beauty in myself, and put me in touch with other blind women–these gifts are beyond valuable. Steph has featured my words a few times on her site, but I have to say: this is my favorite quote! Words have energy. Words have power. Let’s use them in a smart way.

“When you use a phrase like, “blindly accept,” “go blindly into X situation,” “blindly take him at his word,” the adverb you are actually searching for is IGNORANTLY or “without forethought.” When you use the word blind or blindly in this way, you are equating blindness to ignorance.” ~Jill Khoury, Poet

Image: Quoted text is dark gray against a white background overlayed on a blurred dictionary background. ‪#‎womenonthemove‬‪#‎livingwithvisionloss‬ ‪#‎letstalkvisionloss‬

Thank you Jill for your deep insight and very kind words. ~Steph

26 thoughts on “A Lil’ Inspiration #4

  1. Interesting that we use some words without giving them proper thought beforehand. These words may in turn be hurtful to others. Thanks Steph for this insightful post.

    1. You’re very welcome Terry. Thank you for stopping by and reading. I appreciate it!! 😀

  2. Thanks for illuminating an ignorance of which I have been guilty. The language we use shapes our perceptions and beliefs. This is one language faux pas for which I will try to be more mindful in the future.

    1. Yes, I was guilty of the same offense. It wasn’t until I found myself in the situation I’m currently in that I realized I needed to change my thinking as well as bring about awareness to an issue that some are afraid to discuss.

      1. Ah, good old fear – the thief of wisdom! Though not a fan of violence, I love to see that particular dragon slain.

      2. Yes, I’m with you there!

  3. This is very inspiring.

    Sherri Rodgers

  4. This is much appreciated, Steph. I’ll adjust accordingly. Wonder what else I’ve missed?

    1. I wonder the same thing and I think it comes down to being sensitive and just doing the best we can to show compassion for others. I really don’t believe the majority of people intentionally say hurtful things however when we have an opportunity to have an open dialog it helps all of us.

      1. It does help. I am so grateful for this opportunity to reflect.

      2. That’s so good to hear SB. Thank you

  5. Kudos:) This crosses my mind daily. Other minority groups don’t allow this sort of thing to continue. I was recently re-reading “Shadow of Power” by Steve Martini. Despite his being an excellent writer, I had to cringe at the number of times he used expressions involving the word blind or blindly. The worst was something like “only the blind wouldn’t recognize…,” which wouldn’t have even been true. Others equated blindness with a lack of knowledge or perception, stupidity or willful ignorance. Such a gifted writer ought to be able to find a better way of expressing himself.

    1. Yeah Donna, there is still so much work to do.

  6. How loosely we use language, often without thought about reinforcing harmful stereotype.

  7. I am guilty of using those terms….I admit it and I apologize for it. It’s not that I am insensitive to the plight of the blind (my beloved grandma H*** was legally blind.) I think we too often, don’t stop to think about what we say, whether or not it’s something we have heard our entire lives…and this is an excellent example of why we should do just that….think before we speak.

    1. Exactly Laurel. I’m sure that I’ve used the term as well (my excuse for not remembering is, well, not remembering). But seriously I try to think before speaking and could never be accused of having a quick wit because I have to deliberate. I felt that this was an excellent message not only for its truth but also to make us more aware of how the words we use might impact others in a negative way.

      I don’t recall you mentioning your grandma lived with sight loss.

      1. She was Losers’ grandma. She was the only one in the family that ever treated me like a human being. I think I mentioned that she wore “coke bottle” glasses and we used to tease her about hiding them. She was legally blind but I never thought of her as “blind” or “handicapped” in any way. I just knew her as one of the finest women who had ever lived….sighted or not.

      2. Ah, okay. I used to wear coke bottle glasses when I was younger until I found out the secret to thinner lenses were smaller frames. The last two pair of eyeglasses I had (I mainly wore contacts) were so tiny they were like readers but the lenses were thinner and the glasses were actually pretty attractive.

      3. I think glasses have come a long way since Grandma H*** was around. I wish she was still here 🙁
        I think she would be the only one who would have been compassionate. She was married to one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen in my life (when he was young) and he cheated on her. She never re-married and never got over the betrayal.

      4. What an absolute shame.

  8. Perfectly correct – “without forethought”.

    1. Yes indeed Hariod!! Thank you for stopping by.

  9. I had never thought about it like that. It does hit a powerful blow, doesn’t it.

    1. Yes it does and so many people over the past two days have conveyed similar comments. It has made us all think and I’m hoping will generate change.

Comments Are Always Welcome