Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sticks and Stones

We all know the saying; we said it as kids when someone said something mean.

But it isn't true.

Words do hurt.  In fact, if my experience holds true for others, words that hurt have way of sticking with you more than the kind words do.  Words matter.  I'm sure each of us can think back to a specific point in elementary school, middle school, high school, college maybe, or even home or work where someone said something that hurt you, and you remember those words well.  And though we all would be ashamed to admit it, most of us have probably said something to someone at some point that hurt them badly enough to stick with them. 

This video hit extremely close to home for me as the mother of three girls.  It breaks my heart to know that this could be Caroline or Charlotte or Camille one day.  I've quoted some unknown mother before saying that having kids is truly like having your heart walk around outside of your body.  It's so true.  When someone hurts them, it hurts me and though my instinct is to do anything I can to protect them, I know I can't protect them from everything.  I'm sure that's how this girl's mother feels too.

Seeing this video brought to mind not only how the words we say matter, but also that the words we don"t say matter.  When we don't take the opportunity to say something encouraging or kind or supportive, we may be missing the chance to give someone exactly what they need to keep going.  There are people who pass this girl each day who may not know her pain and may not say anything hurtful to her, but maybe if just a few people had something positive to say, it could make all the difference in the world.  Going through tragdy in my life has taught me that even if it's uncomfortable, it's so much better to say something than to avoid.  Take the risk.  Press in to other people's lives.

(video via Matthew Paul Turner)

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