Sarcasm ~ To Tear Flesh

“If you have a vagina and an attitude in this town, then that’s a lethal combination.”                      ~ Sharon Stone

Willy Wonka

I have been thinking about sarcasm a lot lately.  Years ago, I used to be really good at sarcastic and rude remarks.  I thought I was quite clever and quick witted.  Many years ago, someone mentioned that sarcasm meant to tear flesh.  (Word History Anyone who has suffered from the sarcastic remarks of others will not be too surprised to learn that sarcasm, “a cutting remark,” comes from a Greek verb, sarkazein, that literally means “to tear flesh like a dog.” Very early, though, this Greek verb came to mean “to bite one’s lip in rage,” and “to gnash one’s teeth,” and finally “to sneer.” The Greek nounsarkasmos, from which the English sarcasm comes, meant “a sneering or hurtful remark.” But even today sarcasm is often described as sharp, cutting, or wounding, recalling in a faint way the original meaning of the Greek verb.)

This got my attention and I began to realize how mean sarcasm really was.  I also began to realize how often I used sarcasm as a way to be passive aggressive.  I could say what I was angry or judging about and get away with it.  We have all been on one side or the other of these conversations.  We get away with it by saying, “What? I was only joking.  Can’t you take a joke?”  So that way the person under attack feels like they are overly sensitive when in reality they were getting the full meaning of that remark.

We get to say our piece and they don’t get to defend ourselves.  What if we just said, “I would like to start our outing on time today, I have things to do afterwards.  Would that work for you?” Instead of “There she is, always the last person to arrive!”  Then it opens up an opportunity for a humane conversation with respect. Maybe the other person didn’t realize how upsetting it was for you and now will try not to do that.  Even if the other person doesn’t change, if I speak up for myself and my needs with integrity and respect for myself and the other person,  I feel good.

Humor is great and I don’t think anyone should go one day without it, but when we tell jokes at someone else’s expense, that is a different story.  In my quest to be someone who is about love and light, I try to examine my behavior at all times.  I don’t want to tear flesh.  I don’t want to make someone feel less than me.  So I am looking at my thoughts so that less thoughts become words.  Then, I don’t have anything to apologize for and I like myself better.

As my heart, my mind, my soul and my tongue come into alignment, the thoughts are not critical, they are full of love and peace.

Before you speak:


Is it True?

Is it Helpful?

Is it Inspiring?

Is it Necessary?

Is it Kind?


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