Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. —¬†Playground rhyme.

I bet you remember this rhyme or chant. I certainly do, but I quickly learned that words can indeed hurt, often times more than sticks and stones. The purpose of this rhyme is to teach young people to ignore ugly and hurtful words — easier said than done.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that more and more people starting with our leaders are using hateful words, ugly labels, and trash talk. It’s as if our world needs a good washing out of our mouths with soap. A punishment that would probably get you thrown in jail these days, but is most effective.

The world needs a good toning down of rhetoric. Our leaders need to stop name-calling, hurtful nicknames, and flat out lying about their opposition and say why we should vote for them, not why we should vote against their opponent. A silent vigil is a much more effective protest than brick-throwing, insult vindictives, and looting. Mean spiritedness has no place in our society.

Contrary, to the playground chant words do indeed hurt, but I’m not sure who it hurts worse the receiver or the speaker. My mother used to say, “watch your language, child.” Her admonition is even more applicable to grown ups these days.

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at webbhubbell.com. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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