Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sticks and stones

...may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Truly?

Is anyone really ever truly immune to being bad-mouthed, being the subject of foul criticism, hurtful gossip and the like? If you're the type of person who's constantly in the public eye -- a movie star or a politician or some other type of celebrity -- then you'd have to develop a thick skin, because whether you like it or not, people are going to say less than favorable things about you.

But what if you're the type of person who's the ordinary guy or gal next door, someone who's just minding their own business, and you hear something bad that's being said about you from a friend of a friend of a friend? That can suck the big one. But my personal philosophy when it comes to this sort of issue is this: if such words or comments come from people who mean absolutely nothing to me, if their opinions do not matter to me, then they can yadda yadda until they're blue in the face. I do not give a flying fuck.

But if criticism or other "negative" comments do come from someone whose opinion I value, from someone I care deeply about and trust, then that's another story altogether. Trust is such a hard commodity to come by these days. And knowing that, I'm immeasurably grateful for the people I can talk to, people I trust, people with whom I can be myself in all my glorious craziness -- and who still love and accept me in spite of everything. Their advice and well-placed concern are deeply appreciated, more than words can ever say. One such beloved friend is MG, who celebrates her birthday today.

Words are funny things sometimes, especially in a cultural context. Salvage is one such word. According to the dictionary, it means to save something or someone from loss or destruction. But here in the Philippines, salvage is also a word commonly used for the act of ambushing and killing someone. So if you hear of someone who's a salvage victim, that is NOT good news. Oh no, not good news at all. But if I salvage someone to salvage my pride, is that a good thing? Depends on the who's, why's, and wherefore's maybe.

Eh, probably not.

25 comments:

INAMINI said...

Lizza- I suspect you are also someone that your friends can trust. It goes both ways!

NanNan said...

The pain and damage inflicted by words can sometimes be worse than physical wounds, which in time, heal--- the tongue can be a smoldering sword--- or a soothing salve-----

Lizza said...

inamini, I hope I'm as good a friend to them as they are to me.

nannan, how true!

Anonymous said...

OK, I dunno why this reminds me of our C--- bashing "gatherings." Am now wondering if he really has developed a really thick skin or he was hurt by the friendships he lost.
BTW, please greet MG from me :)

gg

Lizza said...

GG, I SMS'ed her to relay your birthday greeting, and she told me to remind you about the greenbacks you promised her. Haha!

gem said...

Great post, lizza, full of wisdom. I haven't met many people I can truly trust. I only need a couple of those sorts, really. Like you say, the greatest hurts are those inflicted by people we thought we could trust, not from those we knew weren't trustworthy. As a "word" person, I also loved the little drill-down on the word salvage. Fascinating.

Lizza said...

Thanks, Gale! On the other side of the coin, words of appreciation from the people we love are more than enough to brighten the gloomiest of days.

Yep, you're quite a "word" person! I enjoy reading blogs because each writer has his or her own distinct style of writing, and many of them are very enjoyable--including yours.

JR's Thumbprints said...

People do talk and their words can kill one's spirit; however, as in my case, they sometimes don't even know my first name. Can't salvage salvage when it's just a word. (Take that which ever way you'd like.)

Lizza said...

I won't even try. :-)

Prometheus said...

Salvage means that? Kinda like we use 'deliverance' in Seeceely to mean a body's been sealed, wrapped and delivered to the maker.

Leezza is under the protection of Don Prometheus. So alla ya nasty talking people better understand a. Don Prometheus is a very superstitious man. If a lightning should a strike or if a hair (gray or otherwise) be a harmed on the head of a Leezza, Don Prometheus will have vengeance. Your families will receive a fish that a signifies that you are at a bottom of the ocean.

Lizza said...

(strains of haunting mandolin music in the background)

Grazie, Don Prometheus. Eet ees gratifying to know that I enjoy the benevolence of a Seeceelian of considerable stature.

(bows to kiss Don Prometheus' ring)

Anonymous said...

MG is doing some charity work today (as she said) in lieu of a birthday party...happy birthday, MG, and may you always be there for Lizza whenever we go out and she needs to be sober :)

im

Lizza said...

Hahaha, IM! Amen to that. And to many other ways that she's always there for me.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi lizza,
nice blog!
looks like good hearted humour
Hope you are having fun
laters ...

Prometheus said...

Don Prometheus also sends a cake to the house of MG, which signifies that its her birthday.

Don Prometheus also sends a bottle of olive oil to Leeza, which signifies that she can oil her hair to keep it from turning gray.

Don Prometheus thanks Lizza for the peck on the ring. He hopes there will be a time when he would be luckier than his damn ring.

Michael C said...

Sometimes it's just better to be the bigger person (figuratively, of course).

I had no idea about the word salvage. I always wondered why it was so dark and quiet around the salvage yard here in town...

Lizza said...

Hi quasar9, thank you very much! Your blog looks very interesting. Your entries about outer space and the accompanying graphics are excellent! I'll visit again.

Don Prometheus, grazie again for the proferred olive oil. And on behalf of MG, grazie too for the cake. (Hahaha! at the ring!)

Michael, I agree. And don't wander too close to the salvage yard! :-D

Mimi Lenox said...

Lizza.....Your post has opened a virtual floodgate of wordology. (Is that a word?) It is now.

As usual, a great post. You do have a wit that is unassuming and packs a funny punch. Well done.

Mimi

Bruno Amato said...

Lizza, True friends are hard to come by...Glad you have MG and vice versa....Happy Birthday MG!!!

Tony Grant said...

Wow what a blog, loved it. I guess we have to take the crooked wit the straight, the good wit the bad.

The ying wit the yang it all balances out

Lizza said...

Hi Mimi, thank you very much! Great new word you devised (but I'm not surprised, since you're excellent with words yourself).

Bruno, thanks so much for stopping by. I'm glad to know that your shoots are going along splendidly. House is a popular show here as well; I should remember to watch out for your episode when it finally airs here (since I don't get to watch much TV nowadays).

Tony, thank you! Ah, yes. Sucks sometimes, but you can't have one without the other. :-)

Jessica said...

hmmmm...i think words hurt the most when deep down you know there is some truth to them...no matter who they are from...

Lizza said...

Hmmm, Jessica. That very well could be.

H said...

Ummm. As far as I've learned in as long as I've been around, anybody's words hurt. Because most likely, if they're bad-mouthing you, you've associated with them in some way or the other. Even if not directly, but through another person.

Lizza said...

Hey H! Yes, I also tend to feel that way sometimes. More often than not though, I either ignore them or laugh at them. :-)