“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 well intentioned parents, relatives and guardians in the aim to motivate them to rise above negative name calling/verbal bashing. But let’s face it, “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” is a lie, it’s just simply... a BIG, OLD, STINKING lie. I guess in defence of parents, grandparents, guardians and mentors the world over they are/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 still is a LIE.
Work with me here, let me ask you this, 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/will be nothing and will amount to nothing,” or you are unfairly compared to a sibling or some other supposed ideal with words like, “why can’t you be more like,” etc., words wound, they may not break your bones but they very well can break your psyche. Those who have been recipients of verbal abuse in the past that have not been resolved unfortunately carry it through to adulthood impacting their present and informing their future. It resonates and poisons the self-worth and esteem. It can dictate how we treat others and how we view the world. Those negative bashings are 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 Colour”, differing creed and class, homosexuals, two-spirited peoples 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?
Each nasty destructive word is carved in the insides of a person, its weaves itself into ones thoughts, breath, hopes and dreams. it’s toxics remnants seep insidiously through the veins and melds with ones DNA. 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 their “imagined” inferiority and divide peoples among their selves. Words if not considered before utterance can devour a person, people, and nations. 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.
Question of the hour…
What’s you take on “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?”
thanks jebelleami for the powerfully provocative photo