UUFSMA: The Power of Words

  • UUSMA-Chalice

Event Category: Literary Events

  • Sunday, January 13, 10:30am 
    The Power of Words
    Rev. Tom Rosiello

    The Rev Tom Rosiello, UUFSMA’s new Affiliate Minister, speaks on “The Power of Words” at this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service.

    According to Rev. Rosiello, “the language we choose to use when expressing our ideas has a far greater effect upon others than we might realize. Similarly our thoughts and ideas are very often profoundly colored by the words others select to use. This is true at the level of one on one relationships but has even broader effect when it is broadcast to a large audience.”

    Rev Rosiello reminds us that we are brought up to minimize the effects of language: “There is an old mantra that many of us used to recite as children when the neighborhood bully was teasing us… ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ Sadly that is not true. Bullying has a profound negative effect on developing children and is closely linked to childhood suicide. But the powerful effects of language are certainly not limited to children. Think of what a different picture comes to mind when we call someone an ‘illegal alien’ as opposed to an ‘undocumented person’ or a ‘person lacking residence status.’”

    “We live in a time of heightened rhetoric and it is having a profound effect on our personal lives and on the national world stage. Highly charged language and the failure to condemn hate speech is surely related to the dramatic increase in hate crimes over the last three years. Of course, language can equally have a profoundly positive effect, inspiring people to acts of great generosity and courage. Simply put, words have the potential to produce profound positive or negative consequences. As expressed in the ancient Book of Proverbs ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue.’” (Prov.18: 21)

    Rev. Rosiello reminds us that we all have a responsibility to use words carefully and accurately, and to challenge those whose words misrepresent the truth, degrade others, inspire hate or otherwise appeal to the worst of human nature.

    The service also includes a special message for children relating to bullying and a time of coming together as a community in sharing and support of one another. Japanese shakuhachi flute player, Peter Ross, provides special music.

    The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at La Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15 and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. For information about our Children’s Sunday Program, contact us at chris.chase1955@gmail.com. Visitors are invited to attend the service and then join the UUs for hospitality afterwards. Wheelchair accessible. For additional information, visit our web site at uufsma.org.

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