Sticks and stones are nothing compared to what words can do.

Your mouth holds a little bit more than just spit and teeth.

Your mouth holds a little bit more than just spit and teeth, it also has the potential to hurt people.

“Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”

is not only one of the corniest things you will read today, but it’s also a phenomenal lie.  Used by people who’s losing an argument and ran out of things to say, using a butter knife in a gun fight.  It remains a useless comment for it’s Just. Not. True.

It undermines the spectacular power of words.  It obscures the lethal poison that lies dormant in every single thing we say.

Words are powerful.  In words lies the potential of resurrection and execution.  Condemnation and commendation.  Life and death.  Good and evil.

Words have the power to become weapons of mass destruction.  It has the potential to inflict injuries like no blunt instrument ever can.  And while bruises and cuts may heal in time, savage beatings inflicted by a human tongue might be deemed fatal, growing like a terminal disease.  A painful death.

Words are eternal.  Once spoken, no amount of apologies will erase the damage that is done.  It might be forgiven , but sure as hell will never be forgotten.  It’s the nature of words.  Leaving imprints, dents on the soul, scars that will never really go away.

Words that are carelessly thrown around have the potential of igniting an all consuming fire, destroying lives and everything else it comes across.

Words are the vapour released from whatever stew you’re brewing in your heart.  And the fragrance of the vapour depends on you.  Make sure you’re always trying to add sugar and spice to a delightful, pleasant dinner.  And in those times when the soup is burnt, and the bitterness bubbles like a black smoke, maybe it’s a good time to shut up.

We need to think before we speak.

We need to understand that everything we say affect the people we’re saying it to.

We need to be selective in the words we use.  It should be cured and filtered and scanned.

We need to contemplate, or in the very least, consider the possible aftermath of the words we’re using.  Especially if we’re recklessly throwing them around, like a kid in a bumper car.  Taking responsibility for the words that escape our mouths, when the guards went AWOL.

The only way to stop regretting things we’ve said, is to not say them in the first place.  It’s listening to the countless prompts from our small voice, urging us to keep quiet.  But more importantly heeding to the desperation of that voice, by shutting our trap holes.

We need to start treating confidential discussions, like they’re suppose to be treated, confidentially.

Remember that it’s easy to say what you think, but it’s more important to think what you say.  For every word we utter has a price.  And we shall pay for every single one we’ve been using, whether they were good or bad.


27 thoughts on “Sticks and stones are nothing compared to what words can do.

  1. This is a very timely post for me. At the moment, I am in the midst of all kinds of conversations about this, sometimes with the result of being called some words that are supposed to reduce my thoughts to nothing.


    • It was prompted by a sermon I heard yesterday. One which made me think and ponder and think and ponder, until I eventually had to write about it as well.

      You know how these things go.


  2. In the beginning was the Word…
    Fantastic posting. We should never underestimate the creative power of the word, and it’s converse: the possibility of its destructiveness. All this stuff’s pretty close to my heart.


    • I don’t think people realise the impact their words have one another person, when you write, it takes time. It’s a process of editing, of choosing words, of using words to paint a picture.

      Unfortunately, when we speak, it’s much more impulsive, a spur of the moment thing. And I’ve learned, that those words are mostly lethal ones.


  3. I blame my mom for confusing me on this one. She did tell me that I should be worried about sticks and stones instead of words, but she was clearly wrong. She also thinks that tortillas covered in mushroom soup tastes good…why did I ever trust her? Nice post and very thoughtful.


    • Parents can be really confusing. But teenagers are the worst. Walking around with baseball caps worn the wrong way, underwear sticking out and you know, listening to people talking really fast and then considering that music. It’s just confusing man.


    • Yes, I understand your predicament. It’s mine too. Especially with stupid people. I just can’t seem to keep quiet around stupid people. But I’m thinking, someone has to tell them, otherwise they’ll go around thinking that they’re not, you know, stupid.


      • You can’t tell a stupid person they’re stupid! If it could be done, then yes, it would be a public service. The problem is that one of the side effects of stupidity is “thinking you’re not stupid”. They won’t believe you… And it might start a war. A LOT of stupid people have A LOT of weapons.


  4. So true! Some people just don’t realise how hurtful words can be and once it’s out, you can’t take it back! The new age has also brought another form of abuse: the written word. I have come across rude and hurtful emails, social media posts etc, and it’s even more vicious because people hide behind the screen/keyboard and some behind their anonymity. Our computer/smartphone screens just have to grow a tougher hide!


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