December 09, 2016

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Let us refrain from being gutter mouths!

Khin Maung Oo

The moment we come out of our mothers’ wombs, we use our voices as in our own right and sometimes as a weapon. Out very first utterances may refer to our claim that we are now liberated from 9 months of detention, concurrently claiming that we will demand what we want through the help of our mouths — our own tools of great effect. Though being a tiny external organ on the face, its effect is wide-ranging — from small to immense, depending on the intention of the speaker and way of receipt the listener. A baby cries and the mother feeds it milk. As time goes past, voices differ. Students, adult youths, workers, people, races and believers make voices, that is, speeches, expressing their desires, sharing their knowledge, exchanging sweet notings and demanding what they need.
Generally speaking, speech can be divided into two categories —love speech and hate speech. Our speeches can bring about good and evil results to us. In other words, these result in benefits and danger. Benefits include happiness, pleasure, peace, wealth and bearing of fruit. Danger includes hatred, anger, altercations, quarrels, fighting, battles and war. Out of all dangers, perhaps religion-oriented danger is the worst. Hence we should be prudent so as not to spark any conflicts — verbal or armed — among us.
“Sweet language can make an aggressive foe lend an ear to you,” as a Myanmar saying goes. Our parents, forefathers and teachers taught us not to use rude words. With the advance of modern technology, we can enjoy many advantages. Today’s youths can reap the benefits by quickly looking up cutting-edge information of any subject they like. They can dig up knowledge instantly from the internet. Yet, as per usual, the evil attends the good. Today, people from all walks of life join Facebook, a social network, posting their writings tat are often full of abusive words. Their writings can be said to be 10 times worse than the indecent words heard frequently on buses or in marketplaces. How ill-bred they are! I think this may be attributed mostly to their poor education.
The effects can be serious. A rude word begets anger, which causes a quarrel, which can potentially lead to violence, even murder. The vulgarity-laced writings of instigators joining Facebook which have the intention of launching subversive activities can cause racial and religious conflicts. We should keep in mind that out of all dangers, religion-based one is the worst — “Dhamman Daye”. Let’s avoid being gutter-mouths in building a civilised society, by keeping ourselves well-bred individually and collectively.

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