Words Matter – By Surveyorhood

This week we have been consumed by how the press and people are responding to not only Greta Thunberg’s powerful speech at the UN but the debacle in the UK Parliament.

Her powerful speech and the resulting press showing photos of her passionate delivery created a equally powerful but disturbing backlash from a number of high-profile people, grown ass adults, with some even citing her Asperger’s as a reason to discredit her.

I realised no one is doing anything to prevent this from happening so then I have to do something.

Greta Thunberg

Denial is easier than confronting the truth, we don’t like to be made to feel uncomfortable about our choices and feel threatened but we cannot avoid the fact that we are not doing enough.

How many of us have been shot down when we have ‘ stuck our head above the parapet’, ridiculed and our points dismissed or trivialised? The message is stronger than any deflection or attempt to discredit the messenger.  

Being different is not an illness.

Greta Thunberg

Fox News, yes that Fox News notorious for fake news, even felt compelled to apologise to her when they aired a commentator who called her “a mentally-ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left”.

Don’t even get us started on the mocking by Donald Trump.

But Greta is shaking off the haters with a maturity that her haters don’t possess and she immediately changed her twitter bio to own Trump’s words.

A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.

You just have to scroll through Twitter to see the vitriol people feel entitled to self-publish. It’s not all ‘humbug’, ‘girly swot’, ‘big girl’s blouse’ when it comes to Greta. It’s ‘deeply disturbed’, ‘dour’, ‘spoilt brat’, ‘mentally ill’, ‘indoctrinated’, ‘manipulated’, ‘desperate for attention’, ‘selling fear’ ‘vulnerable’. ‘over privileged clueless c***’.

People, when we start to attack a 16 year old in this way, we have already lost the argument.

Greta says:

I honestly don’t understand why adults would choose to spend their time mocking and threatening teenagers and children for promoting science, when they could do something good instead. I guess they must simply feel so threatened by us.

The words we choose matter.

We describe Greta’s speech as powerful, her delivery as passionate. If she were a middle aged man giving that same speech are they not the words you would use? Of course they are. #FlipItToTestIt

Words are our most powerful way of communicating.

The words we choose convey our thoughts and feelings.

Greta Thunberg is angry. Lots of people are angry. But here’s the thing, if you are just spouting anger at a 16 year old who is trying to tell you that she fears for her future you are the problem.

She did not choose to be born into a generation where everything is throw-away, even the planet. The adults here and before us made those choices for her. The corporations, governments and media fuelled those choices for the generations that preceded her. She woke up to a global problem and she is using what power she has to wake us all up.

Do us a favour and use your privilege, your words, your actions to make better choices.

Don’t accuse us of virtue signalling either. That is a whole different blog.

But if you are going to accuse us of that. We have to ask why did it become a bad thing to be a good human?

We choose to live by our values – this is not vanity. If you believe this is driven by self-regard you are clearly mistaken.

The words you choose matter. What you do with them matters.

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