Sticks and stones may break my bones but harmful words shouldn’t hurt me

By: Kysean Gregory Opinion Editor


“In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the word.” -John 1:1

Words are things, and you have to be careful about how you use them. Words are powerful, powerful enough to start wars. Words are things, I think it’s safe to say everyone knows that. Words represent a moment in someone’s mental timeline, their availability to influence one’s decisions is just mind blowing. One word could have someone ready to quit and give up on everything, including their lives.

Last year, I wrote about this subject as well, telling people not to get offended by words. But as that year concluded and the summer began, I started seeing the faults in my column. Why was it acceptable for me to tell people to get over the words that hurt them the most? Who died and made me king of emotions and thought? And as you probably guessed, no one made me king. And yet, I still was telling people to not get offended by what I said, but to take it with a grain of salt. So, I said earlier that I realized my faults in this and the main one was that I didn’t asked why? Silly me, the person who is always wondering why things are the way they are. My question for the world is: if words are the way we communicate with one another, why are they so harmful sometimes?

You have to be careful with how use words, especially nowadays with all of these sexual pejoratives, racial barriers and any other ignorant statements that we tend just throw out there. Because, while the society seems to be getting a tougher skin, we as a whole are also getting extremely sensitive towards certain topics. Why is this? Are we, as humans, just born as hypocrites and willing to do and say anything thing we want as long as someone else doesn’t say it to back to us. I have been put into many situations where I have been considered the “bad guy” all because I said something that shouldn’t have been said. When in all actuality, the person that I had been talking to already had something they thought I would have taken to heart. I just blew it off and came back with something, having the same intention that they had for me. But yet, I’m considered that bad guy. If words are so harmful to you, then why would you use them when talking about someone else? Better question, why are some words consider harmful while others aren’t, and when is it okay to use these said words?

Words are powerful, so powerful that they confuse me on how they actually have an impact on an individual’s mental state. While you may think you are safe to use words, in reality you aren’t. You have to careful. Words are leeches, they attach to things and leave damaging scars, sinking into your core principles and eating you alive. I guess, the point I wanted to make out of this was that, while we may say that we want to end hateful language and all the sugary goodness. Maybe you should start a social movement about words and how they shouldn’t affect as much as they do. Learn how to block out all the negative comments. I always block out comments that I don’t like, that’s why I feel like I always have a great day, and every day is a great day.

KySean is a speech education major. He can be reached at [email protected]. edu.