By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Answering Trash Talk

By "trash talk," I refer to offensive and insulting statements that are served up to us. How do you respond? You can ignore it, but is it good to ignore repetitive verbal abuse of this kind? And how do you respond without becoming like the verbal abuser? Two wrongs don't make a right.

My insight is that our words boomerang right back to us. You speak peace, and peace comes back to you. You speak poison, and you should also get back your poison. One Catholic religious medal tells the devil to drink his own poison. You don't repeat or imitate the original trash talk--you just send it back. Return to sender. You can have it back. Keep it. I will not allow it to poison me or change me into you. I won't take the bait.

So next time someone aims trash talk at me, I may just say: "And with your spirit," (in this context, meaning "keep it") and walk away in peace and free of any taint. Refuse to accept it.