Sticks and Stones

How does the old saying go?  Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?  Sounds legit, right?  Well, maybe.  Sticks and stones might put you in the hospital but words can destroy you.

Words are so incredibly powerful that governments feel the need to control them.  People fight for their right to use whatever words they choose.

Everyone knows how much pain words can cause, how much joy they can bring and how necessary they are for everything we do in life.

So why are words so powerful?  Why do we need our freedom to use them written in the Bill of Rights?  What gives words their power?

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9 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones

  1. This is absolutely spot on. I have never understood the whole sticks and stones concept; being someone who is always oversensitive about words anyway. Words are an extremely powerful tool that can be used both for good and for bad. You don’t get many powerful tools that can be used for both…

    • Very true and words are one of the few powerful tools that require such little effort. One single word can make someone’s whole day or ruin their whole day

  2. Words are extremely powerful. As the saying goes, the word is mightier than the sword. The reason? I think the answer is in the meaning we give words. Like curses for example. we’ve decided long ago that they’re bad, and so they have a hurtful or profane effect. But in the end, they are only words. It’s the intent behind the words that matters most, in my opinion. That’s what hurts.

  3. In the wake of the Paris killings I’ve heard comments along the lines of “Why are they so angry? It’s only words (or images, or opinion).” We’ve lost sight of something important: that words have real power. Also that the press can have real power, and that people who come together in groups can have real power. That’s what the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is about. The founders were denied all these rights by the Crown. The founders knew how important they were.

    We seem to have forgotten. We’ve forgotten how powerful literacy and education can be. That whole “sticks and stones” thing reduces words to a matter of hurt feelings. Words have the power to bring down governments. That’s why many governments try to suppress them, not because words are harmless.

      • I’m a little obsessed with this stuff. What keeps me writing is a conviction that words matter. And so many of the people around me, even the ones who pride themselves on being voracious readers, think that words don’t matter much at all. I don’t think I get it, but I’m still trying.

        • Words do matter. Words are some of the most powerful things on earth. They can create, they can inspire, they can destroy, they can ruin. Words deserve much more consideration than many give them before speaking.

        • Words absolutely matter. Unfortunately, as you say, many people fail to see their power which is why I believe so many use them so carelessly

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