Words will never break me
I’ve always been interested in the origins of sayings, idioms, and old wives tales. Where do they start and why? For instance:
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.
I have a friend with special needs child. I have realized that I am guilty of stereotyping. I have said unkind words without meaning to be offensive. It was not uncommon for people to use the word retard when I was growing up.
One day, my friend was talking and she explained why the use of that word cuts to the core. She explained that retard never has a positive connotation. That word is always a put-down or an insult. It never occurred to me until then that I was guilty of tearing down people who have never wronged me. People who have never dreamed of hurting another person. I felt ashamed. I want to wash my mouth out with soap to get rid of the awful ugly taint the word had left.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her daughter much better since then and I have seen the world differently. She is a strong person. Heads off to work, she does all the things that I do back at home and yet she has a very different attitude. She is cheerful and happy to do the tasks in front of her. She owns what she does. Consequently, she gives her all to whatever she is doing. I am trying to be more like her.
She makes me laugh. She is convinced that I am twenty-nine years old and well, what’s the point of correcting that? We were on a road trip and her mother and I were trading off driving. I had only been driving a few minutes when she announced it was time for us to switch. I asked her why and she said I was a bad driver. Ha Ha. In reality, she was just a little nervous because it was a new experience.
We met many people along the way. Some people were rude, most were won over in a few short minutes by her smile and her joy to be alive. She is proud of her family and she will tell you why.
It hurts my heart to think that the sting of a hateful word would ever have the power to break her sweet spirit!
Check out: https://www.facebook.com/EndtheWord
“Sticks and Stones” is an English language children’s rhyme. The rhyme persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.It is reported to have appeared in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where it is presented as an “old adage”