"True escape from the world is for a person to know how to control his tongue, wherever he might be" Abba Tithoes
Recently, I came across an article about human sex-trafficking that really disturbed me. The issue itself is a major problem on its own, besides what happens as a result of it - to the family, the girls, their future. As I read the article, I kept getting more and more sick to my stomach. Why would someone make a beautiful young girl do this? You'd think that maybe a regular person would not be able to relate to something like sex-trafficking, until I continued to read on.
"I've always been viewed as a h*. Once you’re called something enough, it’s like ‘Well, I already am.’ ”
Can you believe that? From the amount of times she was called something, she kind of took on that form because it was all she heard! What I've seen recently starting with middle school kids, possibly even earlier, is that friends call friends with all these types of derogatory terms. It starts off with things that we think are okay, such as 'dummy, idiot, etc' and turns into 'b****, sl** wh***' - all common jargon in a public school hallway nowadays. Even being around that can hurt us. St Antony the Great said, "Whoever receives a man speaking evil or a calumniator, associates with a murderer." Did you catch that? Associates with a MURDERER!
One story my priest told me once, and I'll never forget, has to do with controlling what we say --
There was once a boy who used to curse a lot to others, and his father told him that for every curse he said, he had to put a nail in the fence surrounding their house. Before you know it, the whole fence was full. The young boy noticed his wrongdoing and tried to change. His father told him that for every day he didn't curse, he could take a nail out of the fence. Finally, after a long time, the fence was clear of all the nails. 'Daddy, daddy, look! the nails are gone!' His father was very pleased, but told the son, 'Now, take a look at the fence, all the nails are out, but those holes will remain forever'.
That story will always be in the back of my mind, alongside with what this young girl said. Maybe, if we start calling each other saints, it can work the other way--- ya think?