“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.”