Sticks and stones may break my bones... | Sunday Observer

Sticks and stones may break my bones...

Sticks and stones may break my bones But words will never hurt me.

This famous rhyme first surfaced in 1862. We have all heard this expression as children and we have been brought up to believe words cannot harm us from a very young age.

Good afternoon Mr. Hoppe and boys. Today I am here to talk to you on the topic, ‘Words said in Anger.’ Whilst this may seem like a great tactic to use as self-defence in the playground, words actually can and do hurt. I believe that words said in anger can destroy friendships, destroy relationships and destroy families.

In today’s modern society we can think and voice are opinions freely. These are great rights we have. Most of us use this right in a positive way to uplift and encourage people. Sadly, some people use their right to speak in a negative way which can hurt at a deeper level, long past the healing time of any cut or broken bone.

“I hate you!!”, “I wish you were dead”, “I wish I’d never met you”, “You are useless”. So many terrible things come out of our mouths when we are angry, and sadly, it is to the closest people to us - our parents, our siblings, our friends. Humans are the only creatures on earth who have such an elaborate way of communicating. Words are powerful, they can build up or they can destroy. Have you heard the saying “Words can cut deeper than any sword?” With a single sentence said in anger we can destroy a relationship that was built over many years.

What is the difference between words and a sword? You can put the sword back in its sheath but you can NEVER take your words back. Especially not those said in anger. They pierce the heart of the other person and cause damage that sometimes can never be repaired. Anger is a strange thing. It’s an emotion that we cannot avoid. All creatures get angry. But humans are the only creatures that can hurt with angry words. Always remember think before you speak - silence is golden.

To summarise, have you heard the story of the boy who was asked to drive a nail into a fence every time he said words in anger? Eventually once he learned to control his temper his father asked him to take out the nails. He removed the nails but the holes remained. The holes represent the scars that angry words leave. The scars can never be removed.

We can’t stop getting angry as it’s a human emotion. Most of us have learned to control physical violence, as it’s not acceptable. So what do we do? We have to learn to control our words. Take a deep breath. Walk away. DON’T say anything in anger that you will regret. Choose words of kindness, be the better person and use words to build a person and not destroy.

A tongue has no bones but it is strong enough to break a heart. Be careful with your words. 

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