I am about to do the unthinkable and take an old saying and transform it into something entirely different. I have decided that while “sticks and stones can break my bones, words (names) can never hurt me” is simply not true and we have been fed a lie for far too long.
The first half of the sentence is true, “sticks and stones can break my bones” but it is the second half of the saying that is entirely misleading and we have bought into this misnomer for far too long now. Words can be deadly. We’ve seen it all too often with bullies and broken marriages. Words are weapons of mass destruction in disguise.
Yes, words can bring comfort, hope and joy. My mother used to remind me to “choose your words wisely for they will come back to haunt you.” Dad would add, “You might have to eat them one day.”
Can you imagine the bitter taste of the word, hate? On the other hand, love would taste like a marshmallow melting on the tongue, lingering sweetness in your watering mouth – it naturally imposes a smile on the lips. There could be an intoxicating effect upon the blood sugars in your body when you eat too many marshmallows. Warm them on an open fire and they melt into a delicious combination of toasty on the outside and mushy in the core. Wow, can you tell we’ve spent time by the campfire lately?
All I want to do is write and inspire others with my words. Encourage folks to fight through the unsettled lives we live, reach higher, love deeper and care more often. Compassionate words can quiet the longings in our hearts and comfort our souls. Hurtful words do more than wound, they are as deadly as a shotgun held on a beating heart and a finger squeezing the trigger. Yes, words can be the gun that ends a vibrant life and shatters all the hopes and dreams of an inspiring young (or old) life. Words can be the final nail in the coffin.
Choose your words wisely as my mother suggested and if you have to eat them as daddy said, then don’t forget to warm them first through forgiveness and apologies, because even the most deadliest of all words like hate can have a mushy core.
Just two words changed the course of history, “Crucify Him.” Imagine if they had said, “Set Him free,” there would be no hope for humanity.