It’s hard to know what the “right” thing is to do, especially in an age when the lines are so blurred. Often our most famous cultural icons are the ones who behave the most badly. Initiating the release of sex tapes just for publicity (and pretending they are shocked), going in and out of rehab as if it was a revolving door, committing adultery with a best friend’s spouse (and justifying it), and the list goes on and on. We see others acting badly, so we think, “If they can do it and get away with it, or get attention, why not us?”
An Esteemable Act.
Doing the right thing takes great courage, especially when you are perceived as different, Pollyanna, goody 2 shoes, or simply a nerd. Having the courage to live by your own set of values, even when you stand alone is an Esteemable Act. It’s about making right choices. Self-esteem is a by-product of making right choices.
Everyone Does It.
I know firsthand how hard it is to live by my own set of values, even when I feel alone. For example, today, EVERYONE uses curse words—on TV, in the movies, on the street, in school, at church, and in the workplace. You see parents using swear words at (and around) their kids, and you see young kids and teens using curse words when talking to their parents. The use of foul and nasty language has become the norm. People use the “S” word and the “F” word as adjectives to describe almost everything from feelings, to the weather, to baby soap, to the iPad.
Why Do People Curse?
Some people use swear words, because they have a limited vocabulary. It is easier to use bad words, rather than think of more appropriate words to describe something. It’s a lazy man’s way of communicating. Other people curse because it makes them feel important. And still others curse, because they crave attention. And what better way to get attention than to pepper your sentences with F this and F that, S this and S that, and MF this and MF that.
My Trash Can Mouth.
Years ago every other word out of my mouth was a 4-letter word. I thought it was cool, and it “seemingly” bolstered my self-esteem. For someone as insecure as I was, it gave me the attention I so craved, because every time I cursed, people paid attention to me. Then one day my mentor Louise taught me that every time I used a swear word, I took the focus off of my message and put it on me as a messenger. A wonderful ploy for a needy, attention deprived person such as me. Years ago I had a messy message and didn’t care if you listened to me. Today when I speak, I believe I have something to say, and I don’t want my listener to get distracted by swear words.
How are you choosing to communicate today? If you use swear words, what motivates you to do so?
I’m Francine Ward, Attorney, Coach, Speaker, Author and courageous woman opening up the conversation for your thoughts. Join me on my Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, or in a LinkedIn group.

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