I remember saying that I hated something when I was I kid. A cousin of mine, who I now know to be wise beyond his years, looked at me and solemnly said ‘Hate is a very strong word and rarely needs to be used’. At the time I probably withered him with a look and continued bemoaning whatever it was that ailed me. Over the years I have often found myself saying the very same thing as I heard the word, hate, being bandied about.
While there are lots of things in life that I dislike, there are very few that I could say I hate. I can say I hate liars. I just don’t see the point. Something else I can’t see a point in is calling someone names. Especially when you know that the names your calling are upsetting and hurtful. Why would anybody what to watch someone become uncomfortable and upset?
This little trait used to irritate me mildly. Sure, aren’t we all guilty of it at times? What starts out as a joke and a laugh sometimes goes a little sour and we stop. Don’t we?
Since having kids I’ve grown from mildly irritated to absolutely disappointed and deflated by the name calling that goes on. Especially when I actually like the person calling the names. I’m not naive enough to think that we can live in a world that is free of poking fun and teasing. I can understand a little teasing may even help us develop the skills to be resilient and bounce back in this big bad world we live in.
However, when the person doing the teasing is a friend and someone I hold in high esteem, a little bit of me shrivels inside. I don’t think hounding the underdog is clever. I don’t think making fun of people because they are a little different makes you a better person. I do think that this senseless act says more about the person calling the names than the person being named.
We all know the rhyme, Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. We’ve heard it many times. We also know that there is a huge amount of research that totally negates the sentiments of this ridiculous rhyme.
I wish that people would just take a second and think how their words will impact on others before they let them fall from their lips. Once said, words cannot be unspoken. Use yours wisely.