Thursday, May 3, 2012

Let's Talk About Swearing

Shall we?

There seems to be a sudden rise in the number of people offended by swearing these days.  Or maybe they are just now getting around to speaking up about it.  Or maybe I am just now noticing they are offended.

I for one am not offended by swearing.

If I had a dime for every swear word that came out of my mouth I could put a kid through college. 

Though I have noticed my tendency to let F bombs fly is at an all time low these days. 

This morning I found a facebook post that addressed swearing and spirituality.  This person was questioning why some who regard themselve as being very spiritual still swear.  She asks: aren't spiritual teachers supposed to set a good example? Aren't they the ones who are supposed to be showing the way? 


First of all, I think we would all do ourselves a HUGE favour by removing the word 'spiritual' from our vocabulary.  Simply because 'spiritual' isn't really a description of anything; mostly it leaves it up to every individual to place their own expectation on what 'spiritual' is and how a 'spiritual' person behaves.  This is where we run into problems.  Since everyones expectation will be based on what they need personally.

I learned a long time ago that if I am offended by something I need to take a good long look at who I am and where I am offended with my own behaviour.

If I choose a path that another deems 'spiritual' I do not choose it to be condemned by others.  I choose it because it feels right to me (my path consists of personal growth and nothing else.  Finding my true self and honouring that part of me is my ultimate goal.  It has nothing to do with anybody else).

Some think 'spiritual' people shouldn't swear because it's negative.  But wouldn't placing our expectations on how 'spiritual' people should behave and how they should set examples for others makes us judgemental and critical.   Equally negative I believe. 

What about giving someone permission to speak their truth no matter what language they use and honouring and respecting them for doing so?  This might be a more positive way to deal with the situation.

I've been on the receiving end of these expectations MANY times.  What someone else believes about me is their business.  I am a human being, I swear, I make mistakes, I have moments when I want to crawl under a rock and I spend everyday learning more and more about myself.  For another human being to deem me 'less spiritual' because of my language is ridiculous.  We came here as spiritual beings to learn how to do a human being job. 

And I intend to do just that.  Swearing and all.


  1. Great fuckin post! Lol! I agree. I have been critsized lately by someone who thinks they are spiritual. Spirituality is personal, excepting, and also not judgemental. What bothers us is a reflection of our own issues,flaws, hangups ect. Let's not sweat the small stuff and focus on what "spirituality" really is.

  2. I've been thinking about this lately too. First of all, I'm amazed that people are so offended by words that really don't mean much. Also amazed that they think that their personal code of offensiveness means anything to other people (frankly, to me that doesn't seem spiritual, it seems arrogant). And: I'm amazed at what seems like a rise in people that it bothers (or the fact that they're just more vocal about it). I have some people in my life that I know don't like it and for the most part I try to not say those words around them. I'm not perfect but I do try. To me, that is a spiritual act...making a choice to sacrifice something, even though small, for another's comfort.

    The meaning of these words is so arbitrary though. I can't even bring myself to tell the kids that they're an absolute evil, because I just don't believe it. I don't swear in front of them, simply because I want to encourage them to develop more articulate language skills, and I would prefer that they don't use those words until they have a better developed sense of context and language use of their own.

    Our daughter asked me what bitch meant the other day because she heard it at school and when I told her that it literally meant "female dog" she was completely dumbfounded as to why this was a problem...or why someone would use this word as an insult. So I explained that some people apparently find it offensive to call someone a female dog and since there are enough people who feel that way, you shouldn't go around throwing that word out there. But I also told her she might hear people use it in the original way it was intended and to remember that that doesn't mean they're trying to insult dogs, it's just the word being used the way it's actually supposed to be used. If that whole explanation doesn't highlight how stupid it is to consider these words loaded weapons is, I don't know what does. If I really wanted to confuse her I could have gotten into a whole feminist dissection of society's sexism as reflected in the usage of a particular word...but she's 10. It's a topic we can get into when she's a tiny bit older, lol. She just wanted to know why it's a bad word, and frankly I don't believe that it is, so I wasn't going to lie. Because to me, lying is a FAR bigger sin than a group of arbitrarily tagged words that on their own, don't mean much.

    If people want to make them less provocatively charming they should stop being offended by them...


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