“Sticks and Stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Surely you’ve heard this phrase before, maybe it was one you used yourself as a child when some horrible bully called you names like fatty, Godzilla, or, my personal bane, Pillsbury Dough Girl. Fine, you thought, call me names, but Karma’s a bitch and she’ll get you. Ok, you probably weren’t thinking that at all, since you probably had no clue what Karma was. Also, if you’re anything like me, you probably didn’t have a very thick skin when you were a kid. My whole life my brother has told me I’m too sensitive. This is the brother who has zero recollection of ever calling me “fatty” but it’s ok, we’re good now.
The thing is, words do hurt. To this day a careless word from someone close to me can be cutting. I try to let it slide, I try to look at the big picture and know that these people who sometimes hurt me with their words don’t mean to, but even now that’s difficult for me. Do I have low self esteem? Is the pope Catholic? Of course I do. I’m a fat girl. That doesn’t make me a pitiful creature unable to function, but I do get my feeling hurt a little too easily.
Here’s my rallying cry. Let’s try to use our words for good and not evil. Let’s try to build one another up rather than tear each other down. The internet is a big wide world, let’s choose our messages carefully because they don’t go away. Lofty goal, I know. I put as much crap out into cyberspace as the next person, but I hope to at least offer some messages of encouragement and hope to others. I challenge you to be mindful of the words you choose, as a careless comment can have a lasting negative impact. We teach kids, “use your words,” but maybe we need to add in the word, “kindly.”
December 13, 2013 at 8:28 am
I have a video for you, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYPxi5GeMqc you will love it!
December 13, 2013 at 8:29 am
Yes, yes, yes! I’ve got a post brewing about bullying and our recent experience with hateful words (Pre-K edition). Thank you for this post.
December 13, 2013 at 9:07 am
I’m looking forward to reading it, Mama. 🙂
December 13, 2013 at 9:30 am
I agree with you, words can hurt. And sadly sometimes more than a slap or a kick. But not everybody can hurt me with words. I always try to use my words kindly, even or especially in public. The outlier collective currently writes posts about bad and thoughtless comments and words that hurt, it was interesting to read.
December 13, 2013 at 10:59 am
Yes, I think that when we feel anonymous we are looser with unkind or hurtful words than we might be with our neighbor or coworker, whom we must see everyday.
On the flip side, many people just let loose with their families and treat them far worse than they would any stranger on the street. I don’t understand that at all.
December 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm
LOVE this. And here is the poster I keep on the wall in my classroom:
T- is is true?
H- is it helpful?
I- is it inspiring?
N-is it necessary?
K-is it kind?
December 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm
This is good advice for anyone. Maybe I ought to put one of these up as well. Thanks for sharing!
December 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm
December 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm
The top of the poster say Before you speak:
December 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm
You’re right: things said online never really go away. I know people have lost jobs over online comments, and it’s usually deserved. I don’t feel at all bad when internet bullies are made to face the music in real life.
December 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm
It boggles the mind what some people do online!
December 13, 2013 at 4:33 pm
I’ve found my kids grew up much more tolerant to others and their adversities than kids were growing up in the ’70’s. Makes me feel as though I did my job!
December 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm
Good for you! I know my son is quite tolerant of others, but I like to think I was too growing up. Maybe that’s just looking back with rose colored glasses, though.