We have all heard and sung that poem but it was sung differently. The actual poem goes “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.”
It took me years to figure out that that poem was SO wrong and was teaching a horrible lesson. Not only can words hurt you, words can DESTROY you. I grew up around children whose parents would belittle them and degrade them to the point where they were repeatedly told they would be nobody in life. The parents were saying these things out of anger and most likely didn’t mean them, but those words took on life and attached itself to the minds of those innocent kids and now when I visit my hometown and I see some of them and the path their lives had taken, I’m saddened. Some are drug addicts. Some are in and out of jail. Some are alcoholics. Some are homeless. Some are even prositutes. I’m sure no one expected them to end up in these situations but when you hear nothing but negative words spoken into and over you on a daily basis, how can you see yourself differently? If all you have heard was how bad you were, how could you believe anything else?
We as a society have gotten so ill- mannered and downright RUDE with the way we speak to people. I see comments on Twitter that I can’t even believe I’m reading! The things people say to other people they don’t even know is mind-baffling! You would think that we would be more careful with our words seeing how internet bullying has resulted in so many taking their own lives but it’s the exact opposite. We have gotten worse! Even with the way we go in on celebrities. People attack them with threats of death!!
We have to realize that though we may not like what we see on TV, they ARE human beings and they DO have emotions and just because we dislike their behavior, that gives us NO right to say some of the things that we say. I say we because I’m guilty of communicating some things that I have been ashamed of on Twitter. When people would come for me, I would go for BLOOD with my words but afterwards I would feel so ashamed and embarrassed. I felt that way because I understand the power of my words and I would never want to be held responsible for someone harming themselves over them. You might say “well I never say anything THAT bad”! Well what is considered THAT bad? You never know what one sentence could push someone over the edge. We aren’t perfect and we won’t always get it right but if we try to watch what we say, then half the battle is already won. This week I encourage you to think about the impact of your words. Your words can speak life or death. Which path do YOU choose?
Until next time,