You know the age old saying “stick and stones may break bones, but words will never hurt me”? How untrue that line is?! Wounds may heal over time, but words, they go deep. Deeper than a black eye, a broken bone, or a knife jab, words, evil words, go straight to the soul.
Words I hear often that are the essence of sticks and stones are retarded, gay, deaf, “special”, fatso to name only a few. I live these words every day, both as a hearing impaired adult and as a special education teacher. Words linger long after the tears dry and the people move on. As a child I was bullied, called a troll, and made to feel inferior. The name, troll, may not seem on a level as retarded, but be called it enough and it is damaging just the same.
If we allow these hurtful words to get tossed around then we, as a society, are saying it’s okay to poke fun at the challenged, the different. Differences are what make each of us unique, individual, and separates us from a “society of sameness”.
Sticks and stones may break the bones, but words, they break the soul. Next time you call someone retarded or gay or just stupid, remember the face of that person. Because behind that face is a soul and you just may have broke it.