“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
This old adage was touted as a way to help children with the feelings they had when they were teased or something was said to them that hurt their feelings. Everyone believed this was a good idea, and if you let the words just roll off your back, everything would be fine.
How wrong we were!
Looking back as this phrase we can see the errors in this message and the lack of accountability to the teaser. We look at this phrase, and the lackadaisical way of dealing with the pain and emotions of a child, with our modern eyes and are aghast that this would happen. With the myriad of studies, statistics, data,and the things they have produced such as the ACE study findings; we are shocked that this would be the way that our society would deal with someone hurting another with words.
Imagine how the future will look back at our archaic ways of seeing this type of violent language.
Every time a word is uttered it forms a mental picture in the listener. This mental picture is then thought about, internalized, judged, and developed into a way of seeing the world as a whole. When a group of words are strung together, they have the ability to attach themselves to neural transmitters (brain waves, and are carried throughout the brain. Not only do they go through the same process as one word does, but they also become a belief. If we put together enough beliefs we have a belief system. Every person int he world is following a certain belief system dependent on the things they have been taught and the words that have been spoken to them. However, this belief system isn’t something we consciously think about; on the contrary, this dictates how we run our lives, how we see ourselves in the society we belong to, and how we treat others.
Imagine a belief system strung together with violent phrases, words, images, and ideas. what would this person’s path be? What would this person’s view toward other people and other people’s opinion and rights be? It has been shown time and time again, the more violent a belief system, the more violent the person either acts or speaks toward others.
In this way, words become the catalyst to the violence that is propagated in our society.
Therefore, it seems obvious that the less violent our words and phrases are, the less violent a society would be. The less violent a society is, the less it accepts violence in its day-to-day activities. In essence, by changing the words which we use on a day-to-day basis, we could change the way our world views everything.
Instead of our world being a world that asks: who has done this to me or who has attacked me; we may be able to turn our world into a place where its inhabitants ask:
How may I help all people, so that no one is made to be a victim or is seen below someone else.