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strip the flesh off

Part of my character is to fight for the underdog.  It runs strong through my veins.  When I see injustice occur, my hair stands on end and I wield my sword to defend. 


Ok, that may sound a bit dramatic, but if you could look inside me, you would see that my heart truly aches when I see someone on the receiving end of injustice.


In these past months, both in person and through social media, the injustice which has spurred my warrior-ness has been delivered on plates filled with ‘sarcasm’.  Sarcasm can kill a relationship faster than you can say the word out loud. 


For those that use it, they will tell you that it is just humor, get over it!  Unfortunately, the humor is usually expressed at someone else’s expense. 


The sarcasm-ist uses humor to get a rise or a response out of other people.  And if you catch their eye after they have delivered their attack, they greedily await other’s responses.


Sarcasm has a lasting effect.   


Don’t let anyone fool you into believing that it does not.  Although the person that it is directed to has a moment of shock on their face, they try to recover, pretending that it hasn’t affected them and attempt to smile/laugh it away. 


Ask anyone who has ever been on the receiving end how they truly felt about being a ‘target’.  Psychology Today states, “Despite smiling outwardly, most people who receive sarcastic comments feel put down and usually think the sarcastic person is a jerk.  Indeed, it’s not surprising that the origin of the word sarcasm derives from the Greek word “sarkazein” which literally means “to tear or strip the flesh off.”  Hence, it’s no wonder that sarcasm is often preceded by the word “cutting” and that it hurts.”


Wow.  The root of this word has such a violent connotation.  "tear or strip the flesh off." Raise your hand if you have been there.


How can anyone believe that sarcasm doesn’t leave a lasting mark? 


I’ve always felt that sarcasm is a subtle form of bullying.  With that being said I’ve always felt sorry and pity for bullies. There must be so much hurt inside a bully for a bully to intentionally bully! 


Hurt people do hurt people.  This is a proven fact. 


The same article that stated the above, defines bullies as angry, insecure cowards!  Even those that laugh at their indiscretions, inwardly know that the person throwing out the remarks is truly someone that they don’t want to be associated with — no trust there! 


How can you trust someone that is sarcastic?  There is always the chance that you could possibly be his next target!


Now hear me out…I’m not a prude.  I love wit! 


The difference between clever wit and sarcasm, though, are chasms apart!  I love to laugh.  Anyone that knows me well would attest to that.  I might not always get the joke, but I love a healthy dose of wit. 


It spices up conversations. 


The difference between wit and sarcasm is that the latter makes the receiver feel stupid, dumb and makes them second guess everything they say out loud.  One is harmless; one is hurtful. 


One you laugh with everyone, the other, everyone laughs at you. 


Building someone up is always healthy, tearing someone down tells more about the deliverer of those harsh words.  The bible speaks about the inner workings of a fool.


Proverbs 18:2

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.


Proverbs 29:11

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.


Proverbs 18:7

A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.


Proverbs 12:16

The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.


Proverbs 15:21

Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.


Proverbs 10:14

The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.


Sounds to me that sarcasm permeates in the mouth of a fool.


So how do you distinguish between wit and sarcasm? 


Sarcasm is usually always directed at someone else.   I’ve heard it described that sarcasm leaves a bitter taste (in everyone’s mouth), but “wit” is like a little bit of spice.  Just peppering the taste without overwhelming it.  Giving the consumer a little kick and maybe a bit of sweetness on the side.


I searched for an explanation of the difference between both words.  I love how the blog, thingsyouwishyouknewyesterday.com describes it.


Sarcasm is defined as “harsh or bitter derision or irony”. Wit, however, is “the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure”.


Even Jesus had wit!  His encounters with the Pharisees and the apostles are full of witty and brilliant one-liners!  But show me one instance in which he used sarcasm to tear a man down.  To destroy his character or worse yet to gather others around him to help that occur.


So maybe we need to think a moment before we speak, post or react in the future. 


Just think how different the world would be if sarcasm was out and a healthy dose of wit took its place!


Creatively His, Sue:)


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