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Sticks and Stones

As the old playground chant goes:
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"

It suddenly crossed my mind to revisit this old adage and verify its validity and relevance in my present stage in life.

First and foremost, this chant was designed by children (God knows in which day and age this came about, but I'm pretty sure it's almost as old as the modern English Language we have come to know and love in this present day) as a defensive response to infuriate the offender (the one who utters the insults or profanities). So effective is this statement that sometimes it often renders the offender frustrated and speechless at the impotence of his or her choice of colourful vocabulary. As the level of profanities escalates in volume, so does the response, until ultimately, the offender becomes frustrated enough to leave, or conversely, take up the challenge and does indeed proceed to break your bones with sticks and stones...

However, if this mechanised response in only a purely defensive manouevre to render the offender's words meaningless, does it really mean that "words will never hurt me"?

Recently, I have had someone from my past utter a phrase that really, really surprised me..
She used the "H" word...yes... the word is "HATE"... Now, I find it surprising on 2 different levels. First of all, I don't know what I ever did to deserve such a strong word from her, when all the while I feel that I had been nothing but kind to her. Secondly, it really surprised me how much that single word affected me... I was livid... I was obsessed... I was sad... A multitude of emotions engulfed me, and there I was asking myself why was I so upset?

If sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me is true, then why is it a single word can flay my emotions, leaving me with a thousand miniscule cuts, open and bare for all to see...

The simple truth is this: words are a vehicle in which we pour all our feelings and emotions into...A simple utterance of hate is not just a simple utterance, but is in fact an assault of invisible punches and kicks, more devastating than sticks and stones could ever be. Physical damage may heal with time - bruises may take a few weeks, broken bones may take a few months... But words are crosses we carry with us until the day we die...

If sticks and stones can break my bones, then words will ultimately kill me...

Comments

aReLaNg said…
jahatnye die.. selamat sir x dgn die dah.. ppuan jahat mcm tu mmg patut ditinggalkan..u shud be grateful coz she didnt be apart of ur life.. u have such a lovely and kind wife instead.. sir, let bygones be bygones.. :)
Abdullah said…
Hi arelang...
nice of you to drop by :)
It's been a long time since your last visit..How have you been?

You know, I disagree if you say she is a bad person..I don't think she is..
It's just that at times it's easy to blurt out words without thinking..I think that was the point I was trying to make here..words are a powerful force..Whether someone means what they say or not, the receiving end has already received the message, and the effect would be just the same..

As for what I meant by the words becoming our crosses to bear... True, they will always haunt us... but we choose to what extent they affect us, and how long we ourselves want to hold on to our own anger, resentment, or even hatred...

Once the choice is made, we try to stick to it... Once we choose to forgive someone, we can't go back and 'unforgive' him... It's going to drive us mad...

Wow...Sounds like I'm in the lecture hall again doesn't it?heheh..

Anway, welcome back, and I hope this semester would be the best one for you yet! :)
Bargain Books said…
Words used to hurt me very much, but now, I 'make dunno only' ( buat bodoh jer )... In this world I learnt that you cannot please EVERYONE.

Just tell her lah..chill out sista! :P
Abdullah said…
Hey CC!
Long time no see...
Welcome back home :)
Princess Liyana said…
That's the power of words. right Sir? Hmm, don't be sad ok? Cheer up!:)
Abdullah said…
Princess,
Thanks...but I'm not sad now :)

Sugarless Daddy,
Welcome.. Life is indeed like that huh?...
A t i Q a h said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
missyizzati said…
i think, words kill if the offender is someone dear to me, i have feelings for, i have respects for or anyone who is close to me. enemy can kills with words too.

ps: if you say you hate me, i might die too. ;p
azie said…
for me, it's not easy to utter the HATE word to someone i love, because if i ever do so, there will be no turning back.

unless if i really hate the person i used to love, then i will proudly utter that word,hehe
Abdullah said…
Ijat,
I can never, ever, ever, say that to u :)

Azie,
I don't think I've ever used that word, except only on one person, and even then it was when I was in form 1, and this guy made my life hell both at school and in the hostel... And I'd really hate to be someone u proudly say that word to...*shudder*..
affendik? said…
indeed...indeed...word which could be the utmost beautiful, could also be lethal!hehe...i experienced it, so I know how it feels (lucky i don't die n the process though) it's actually amazing how a simple word cold bring such deep impact to us..and not to mention the miscellaneous meaning it may bring too aite?
and that is why the prophet said,
"always speak of hikmah (good things)... if you are not able, be silent"
very deeeep meaning! =]
Abdullah said…
Affendik? (or Irwan) :),

Very deep meaning indeed..sometimes I think I am guilty of doing that..speaking when I don't really have anything good to say..It's difficult to curb sometimes...
Thanks for dropping by n hope to see u more often :)

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