Oftentimes many people don't realize that abuse can take may shapes and forms. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, abuse is defined as follows: To use wrongly or improperly; to hurt or injure by maltreatment; to rape or molest; to insult; revile; misuse; physical maltreatment; insulting or coarse language.
I think a lot of people view abuse as something that is visible. I've been thinking about this for quite some time and I had to write about it. Abuse generally begins in the form of words. Sometimes people will say things that they may believe are not harmful but in reality they are. I think all people are guilty of this. If we look at the many definitions given, I don't think anyone can say they have never insulted anyone. Now, I know some people may be thinking they did it in fun, but that is how it begins. Remember that lie we were told growing up about sticks and stones. Well, words do hurt and people don't forget them.
I know I've been guilty of being abusive to others and I've had to go back and rectify that situation. I believe the reason many of us are abusive is it's all we know and have been taught. Hurting people hurt others. We need to learn how to speak words of encouragement to one another and keep our little snide comments to ourselves. In the words of my mother and grandmother "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". I think if a lot of us learn to live by that creed, we wouldn't walk around abusing people on a daily basis.
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