The Psi Beta Zetas held an open discussion last week about the B-Word. I commend them for their thoughtfulness. What we call ourselves and what we respond to is important. Instead of following tradition and blindly embracing certain “terms of endearment,” we ought to be aware of the effects of our favorite affectionate words; the B-word, and the N-word.I’m sure we know plenty of “real” N-words with headstones or behind iron bars. I’m sure we’ve seen many “bad” B-words on the road to nowhere and still don’t know where it leads. We need to think, to question. Do these words uplift? Do they tear down? Are they worthless?
If they are just a worthless combination of letters with no real value why use them in the first place? So then their effects or intent are either positive or negative.
Some would argue that it is dependent on the context and not the content. A fair argument, at a glance. The mention of context as opposed to the content alone presupposes that the content in itself is problematic or negative.
The concept of the “context” simply means that there has been an effort on our part to turn a derogatory term into an acceptable one.
We need to understand that the term’s content, what it contains, will always be negative.
Words have a life of their own, and they have a history of their own.
If we go by the history then there is no denying that these words were meant to destroy our emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being, and to create a sense of low or no self-worth. Some can dismiss this saying “times have changed,” but that history cannot change, but rather it repeats.
The best course of action then would be to dismiss these words. Instead of trying to “breathe life into death” we should create our own words, new terms to properly define ourselves.
If these “dead terms” already properly describe us then first we need to look at ourselves and make a conscious, collective change for the better.
We need to stop trying to be what other people think we are or ought to be: Know yourself, be yourself, and be your best self at all times.
Then we can create new terms that would elevate us, that serve to encourage us, that is used to honor us. This is just my opinion.
Ultimately it comes down to what we call ourselves and what we respond to. That which we allow might be responsible or reflective of that which we will achieve. So choose and choose wisely.