X — Much Better — Words Matter

George Marx
5 min readNov 24, 2022

When I interact substantively with others, I tend to feel either detached, or very present (and generally connected). When detached, I’m immune from my feelings interfering with my brain and soul. When present, often, when things feel personal (, even when not directly personal,) — I often “over-react”. Besides — my face showing affect (if that), usually I appear stoic. (It is scary to expose myself in what often feels like unsafe space.)

Words matter — in a variety of situations, for most people. The simple words: “Black Lives Matter” — are most important, and very positive for many Black People, as well as for those who care deeply about them. When a lot of white people hear these same words, they commonly “mean”:

– “I should be totally ashamed that I am a white person. I should always defer to every Black Person!”

Obviously, for such white people, these words seem horribly insulting and condescending.

In doing my political work, I try to consider the likely impact of my words upon those who hear them. When my words land badly, I try to consider how I can repair the resulting damage, particularly when it could potentially hurt or end our relationship.

When I feel emotionally distant and isolated, it is challenging to hear and feel any possible positive impact from others’ words.

Sometimes, I can be attracted by the perceptiveness and deep insights of others, while also feeling fear, anger, or sadness — that can go in opposite directions. Brilliance doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has a deep heart, or otherwise is showing me a meaningful (sliver of) spirit (of theirs). Sometimes — I can feel an amazement — at others — whether I can relate to their spirit, or instead feel a significant separation from them. For example: the artistry of a few people I know is incredible, though drastically different from how I am.

Other people bother me greatly — with their words, for a variety of reasons.

“George, I really admire the deep commitment you have to multiple causes” — can ring hollow, and I may not even appreciate the compliment. What I want(ed) to hear one noted time, was additional words to the aforementioned statement such as: “I’d like to do more than I’m doing. Could we talk about what I could do?”

I can feel deeply offended. A demonstration of privilege, without a commitment to trying one’s best to help build a better world for…

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