…wake-up call for people who go through life thinking that the words they say don’t do any harm.
This is a slightly revised version of an article with this tittle that appeared in the odyssey ( 2nd February 2016)
“If you’re reading this, you’re probably not living under a rock, and if you’re not living under a rock, you’ve probably heard Taylor Swift’s song, “Bad Blood.” The song is allegedly about a feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, but I don’t want to talk about that. What I do want to talk about is the importance of this song and more specifically, understanding the lesson in the lyric, “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes.”
What does “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes” really mean? Some might interpret it literally, some might just sing along and not interpret it at all, and then there’s those of us who look for meaning in the metaphor.
To me, “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes” isn’t about an actual band-aid or an actual bullet hole. To me, it isn’t about the injury or the means of fixing the injury at all. To me, it’s about the mindset of the person causing the injury.
Here’s the thing. When someone uses a real weapon to hurt someone else, they know exactly what they’re doing. They know that it only takes a few seconds to cause damage. They understand how long the recovery is going to take. They are fully aware of the pain that they are inflicting on the other person.
I don’t know about you, but I was raised to believe that words are weapons. Yet for some reason when people use their words to hurt someone else they act like they don’t know what they just did. They think it takes more than one shot to cause any kind of damage. They assume that the recovery will be quick and easy. They simply don’t think it’s a big deal. And it isn’t a big deal to them, because they’re not the one bleeding out.
They’re not the one in shock from the unexpected shot. They’re not the one with the aching pain that won’t go away. They’re not the one holding back tears that burn their eyes, tears that will soon spill over uncontrollably and lead to damp pillowcases and chapped cheeks.
They’re not the one with the bullet hole.They’re the one trying to stick a Band-Aid on it and walk away.
Now think about that in a literal sense. Think about how silly that sounds. At a very young age we all learn that sticking a literal band-aid on a literal bullet hole won’t do anything, yet somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that word-wise it’ll do the job and everything will be just fine. It’s time to stop believing that lie.
If you choose to walk around using your words as weapons, please stop expecting something as small as a band-aid to patch up the damage that you’re causing. Please understand that it doesn’t take long to hurt someone. Stop living under the illusion that it takes years of harsh words and petty comments. Yes, sometimes it can take longer because some people are stronger than others, but we’ll never fully know one another’s strengths and weaknesses, so why take that chance? Is it really worth it? No. I promise you it never is.
It always has and maybe always will blow my mind just how fast “mad love” can turn into “bad blood,” but I truly believe that if we try to understand the weight of our words before we say them, that if we choose to think before we speak, that if we start to take emotional injuries as seriously as we take physical injuries, then maybe we’ll be able to wash our hands clean.”