To murder character is as truly a crime as to murder the body: the tongue of the slanderer is brother to the dagger of the assassin

Janki Shastri
4 min readAug 7, 2023

– Tryon Edwards

In today’s digital age, where communication is instantaneous and widespread, the impact of our words has never been more significant. While physical harm is undoubtedly a crime, we often overlook the destructive potential of verbal attacks. This blog post aims to shed light on the dangerous consequences of slander, highlighting how the tongue of the slanderer can be as harmful as the dagger of an assassin. Through exploring the moral, psychological, and societal implications, we hope to raise awareness about the importance of responsible communication and the need to combat the toxic culture of slander.

I. Understanding Slander: To comprehend the gravity of slander, it is crucial to define and understand what it entails. Slander refers to the act of making false spoken statements that damage a person’s reputation. While freedom of speech is a fundamental right, it comes with the responsibility to use words ethically and truthfully. Slander, however, disregards this responsibility and can have severe consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator.

II. The Moral Implications : Slander is not only a violation of the victim’s rights but also a moral transgression. Just as murder is condemned for ending a person’s life, character assassination through slander aims to destroy a person’s reputation and dignity. By engaging in slander, individuals willingly participate in an act that causes immense harm to others, disregarding the ethical principles of honesty, integrity, and empathy.

III. The Psychological Impact: The psychological impact of slander cannot be underestimated. False accusations and malicious rumors can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and even suicide in extreme cases. The power of words lies in their ability to shape our perceptions of ourselves and others. Slander undermines a person’s self-esteem, causing long-lasting damage to their mental well-being. Moreover, the fear of being slandered can erode trust and create a toxic environment where individuals are hesitant to express themselves freely.

IV. Societal Consequences : Slander not only affects individuals but also has broader societal implications. In an age where information spreads rapidly through various media platforms, false narratives can quickly gain traction, leading to widespread damage. The erosion of trust, division among communities, and the loss of credibility in public figures are just a few examples of how slander can harm society as a whole. It undermines the fabric of healthy relationships, hampers progress, and perpetuates a culture of negativity.

In Conclusion: The tongue of the slanderer is indeed a brother to the dagger of the assassin. While the physical act of murder is universally condemned, the harm caused by slander is often overlooked or dismissed. Let us remember that our words have the power to build or destroy, and we must use them wisely. But often we miss this point, don’t we?

There is this saying that goes something like this: “Don’t sacrifice your peace trying to point out someone’s true colors. Lack of character always reveals itself in the end.” In my experience and observation, it can be true sometimes, but usually, it’s not that simple. Yes, toxic people reveal themselves all the time. The problem is, that most people either are unable or unwilling to evaluate that information accurately. We believe more in hearing than fact-finding. As a result, we have a culture where narcissism and sociopathy – because of cultural programming and their subtle similarity to healthiness and individuality – are perceived as success and an aim. At the end of the day, we should look for a healthy social environment, to be more individual versus tribal, to avoid drama, to avoid being distracted from our goals, to analyze our internal world, to stand up for ourselves in our private life, to fight the manipulators if necessary, and to pick your battles wisely.

Character assassination is a cheap tactic used by insecure, fake, manipulative, or simply psychopathic people, and usually, the best way is not to get lured into the drama of it, simply ignore it, and continue doing what you are doing. Yes, there will be people who will never double-check and simply believe the manipulator, and there will be those who will want to find out the truth, there will be those who can see through it immediately, and there will be those who are simply not interested in it. Either way, you can endure it, stay on track, and continue with your life, or maybe not!

And always remember, these people’s lives are their punishment.

Peace to all!!

Picture courtesy: Google Images.

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Janki Shastri

A writer, a poet, a translator/interpreter , a maverick, sharing my heart out , my expression in words.