You’ve no doubt heard the words “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” In my mind, they are always in a child’s singsong voice that seems to echo from my childhood. Funny thing about those words. They simply aren’t true.
Words absolutely can hurt us. They can become weapons we can use to hurt others. When I Googled those words, I found some alternate new endings to the rhyme:
Sticks and stones may break my bones…
- …but words can also hurt me.
- …but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours.
- …but words can shatter souls. Words matter. Choose wisely.
From experience, I can tell you, those are closer to the truth. Our words do matter. Our actions do matter.
This fall, I was given the honor to become a member of the Rome Rotary Club. (I’m sure I’ll talk about that more throughout this challenge because it’s something I really value.) At the beginning of each meeting, the Rotarians recite what is called “The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do.” We should, the Four-Way Test tells us, ask of what we’re thinking, saying, or doing:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Those are good questions. Truth, fairness, goodwill, better friendships, being beneficial, and, I’ll throw in for good measure, peace. Those are things I want to be actively building in life. There’s enough negativity, enough hurtfulness, without me adding more.
My prayer for today:
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.