“Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”
This is one of the most well intentioned lie perpetrated against children/youths by their parents, relatives and guardians in the aim of motivating them to rise above negative name calling/verbal bashing. But let’s face it, it’s a lie, it’s just simply... a big old stinking lie. I guess in defense to the parents, grandparents, guardians and mentors they were doing the best they knew how with situations perhaps they did not have the answer to or were inadequately equipped to deal with. None the less well intentioned or not, it was and is still a lie.
How many of you carry the wounds of the past delivered in words like; “you are stupid”, “you worthless piece of shit”, “stupid bitch”, “stinking whore”, “you’re nothing”, "you will be nothing" etc..words of the past that unfortunately carries through to adulthood and may still resonates today with some of you and is as prevalent in the world today like the dreaded “N” word and all the other demoralizing debasing words used to demonize the “Other”/ “People of Color”, homosexuals etc. Who is going to tell me that those nasty insidious words including that of racism and all the other isms never hurt? Who is going to say that some did not in fact have the consequence of broken bones or worst?
The fact is words wielded destructively can deconstruct and negatively reconstruct the human psyche with dire consequences. Carelessly delivered with malice intent words become weapons that have the power to start wars, end marriages, convince nations of an imagined inferiority and divide peoples among their selves. Words if not considered before utterance can devour a person, people, nation.
No one likes to be slighted, disregarded, or disrespected, so the next time you open your mouth to say something demeaning try and think of the consequences and intent of your words.
It would be wise to remember that..."If you dish it out, you must be prepared to take it" because you may get a surprise retaliation to your verbal castration.