Sticks and Stones may Break your Bones, but Words will Stick to your Soul

Sticks and Stones may break your bones, but words will probably hurt you.* (Fixed)

The schoolyard adage used as an emotional band-aid whenever a child complains of verbal bullying needed a revision. Oh, Honey, they’re just words. They can’t hurt you. I want you to go back into that school tomorrow and tell that bully that you are rubber and you know the rest. Moms and teachers were well intentioned with their advice, but they were dead wrong.


Not once has a stick or stonebroken any bone in my body, yet words have hurt me on more than one occasion.Long after the offense has occurred, the pain lingers. In your adulthood, youprobably still feel the residual sting of phrases uttered two decades ago, whethersaid with malice or as a playground joke. They have shaped your worldviewwhether you like to admit it or not.

Someone uttered words that cut so deep you would have thought a doctor was performing surgery.

Only he botched the operation and you still the feel the effects years later. As a society, we need to do a better job explaining the power of words. Words are immensely powerful in their ability to hurt and to heal. Words are also immensely sticky. They adhere to the soul of a person like gum to the sole of the shoe. Extremely easy to get on, but takes quite a bit of intentional effort to get off.

The responsibility is on all of us to control our mouths. The Bible says there is life and death in the power of the tongue. It’s as sharp as a double-edged sword, so wield with caution. Why do we keep perpetuating the same self-and-outwardly destructive cycles of verbal abuse? Because we are hurt.

Some creeper old man told you that your skin was too dark to be attractive 32 years ago, and it stuck with you. Even though consciously you didn’t want to believe his words. Subconsciously,seeds were planted. Doubt weeds grew, then insecurity shrubs, followed by shadetrees that bear fruits of insecurity.

For the past two decades, you’vebeen looking for a way to lighten your skin because you don’t feel like you arebeautiful enough. Now you’re shading and planting seeds in your daughter. Notdirectly of course. You would never tell her that she isn’t attractive justthat these men are always chasing after the high-yella heifers, which she knowsshe is not. The spiral continues.

How do you get the gum off the bottom of your shoe?

Hasbro: Operation

By any means necessary. Sometimes, little effort is involved. You can say to yourself, “it’s nothing” and ignore. Other times, you must completely remove the show, grab some tools and start scrapping. You pray. You talk to friends. Still, some issues may require more, a professional. Someone with experience in removing gunk from soles. Right, not talking about shoes anymore, souls. Don’t be afraid of seeking credentialed help. Therapy and counseling are no longer taboo. Catering to your mental health no longer makes you a weirdo.

45.9% of Millennials reported they had been in therapy at some time in their lives.

Your hurt does not need to be compartmentalized.

Process your pain. Those cemented transgressions are as much a part of your identity as your name. The good news is that cement breaks. Call in the big guns.

Your words are weapons of mass-destruction or mass-construction. They are tools. If I give you a hammer, you can build a house or commit murder. It all depends on the arm. The same goes for your tongue.

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