Sticks and Stones and … A Slap?!

As a kid, did you ever hurl these words at a bully or some kid who was being mean to you: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words shall never hurt me”.

It was like your form of retaliation, wasn’t it? But, did saying those words help you feel any better? Did saying those words help you avoid physical retaliation? Did saying those words take away the sting of the hurtful words?

Probably not!!

How about this age-old advice on anger management: “when angry, count to 10 before you speak”. Does that work!?

Probably not!!

Sticks and stones … and the slap that was heard around the world!!!

Now, I do not condone or tolerate violence in any of its form. So, let me be clear—Will Smith slapping Chris Rock was wrong. Period!!

That widely publicized slap had me thinking more about the old rhyme “sticks and stones” and the power of words.

Something in the words Chris Rock used in that joke—a joke made in poor taste, I’d say—triggered Will Smith and angered him to the point that he apparently lost all sense of reasoning. There was no counting to 10 and beyond. There was no reciting of a rhyme. Those words were like sticks and stones and apparently they hurt.

Words are powerful.

In this case they were cloaked in a joke, wielded like a weapon and when they reached their intended target they cut real deep. They hurt. It’s like the Bible says:

A brother who has been insulted is harder to win back than a walled city, and arguments separate people like the barred gates of a palace.

Proverbs 18:19

Fandango asks: Who won the week? I’d say:

the tongue!

It’s a little member of the body but boy is it mighty—it’s taken down nobles, it’s taken down countrymen, and it’s taken down celebrities.

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

James 3:6

But we can also choose “honey words”.

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Proverbs 16:24

Let’s each strive to be a kind human, using words to uplift and not tear down even if to us those words constitute a joke.

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In creative solidarity, Dee

29 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones and … A Slap?!

  1. Roxanne

    What a trip down memory lane for me with your references to “sticks and stones” and “count to 10”. They evoke childhood memories of carefree days playing “hopscotch” and climbing fruit trees. I’m also drawn to Prov. 18:19. It really spoke to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Viv H

    That was put together beautifully. Often times if we count to 10 as you rightly mentioned we would react much differently to situations. As humans we tend to just react without even thinking , and in the end we regret the outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is definitely one way to look at it. Maybe the loss is what is seen but could this be a reckoning for him to deal with a bigger unseen issue? Could it be restorative? At the end of the day, above all else we (human to human) need to be kind.


      1. Devon.

        The 1st question that came to my mind; was Chris aware of Jada’s medical condition? Because at the end of the day, he’s a comedian and makes a living roasting people. I will also say this, all is well that ends well, because not many men would take that slap the way Chris did.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It begs the question—is roasting people the “best” Comedians can do for jokes/their jobs. Under the circumstances that so-called joke was in BAD taste. I think for me it isn’t the backstory or how either of them handled the situation, the issue is being accountable for not only actions but WORDS. Words matter right?! Thanks for engaging


    1. I absolutely agree. The responses to this unfortunate incident have been framed in many ways and spoken of through/from various lens. At the end of the day it comes down to being kind to each other in words and deeds!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Tanya Hibbert

      Hello Dee,
      Thanks for sharing and I appreciate the reminders from scriptures. Violence should never be the answer. If someone is struggling with issues (like Will) it’s necessary to talk about it. Seek professional help. Will reached his breaking point and clearly lost himself. 🙏

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey sis. Great to have you here. I agree. Violence is never the answer. I hope this is a breakthrough for him and not a breakdown.

        Come again, love having you here!!


    1. Ace

      I absolutely agree that words can definately hurt, I never subscribed to that old addage, about sticks and stones. Will was definately triggered by some unresolved trauma , similar to Peter when be cut off the ear of servant that was arresting with Jesus. When unresolved trauma surfaces it makes us do undetestable things at times, whether a gentile or Jew. We must always put on the full armour of God is we are to successfully fight this spiritual warfare. God bless us all!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dee, I completely agree. Kindness dwells in every human heart but as a group we often tend to forget it. What bothered me was that no one in the audience booed at the joke.

    “The Oscar slap” was goggled far more than the Oscar winners. I think it says a lot about us the public and what classifies as “Entertainment!”
    Being Kind is the key. When we say “No” to such jokes, the comedians will have to work hard on their job. Yes, being a stand up comedian requires courage but it also requires mindfulness. It requires kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your take on this Harshi. I appreciate your thoughtful response. If others used words as loosely in our jobs as some comedians do in their jobs (joke telling) there would be no end to negativity in this world. There is accountability on all counts whether we use our words or fists.

      Liked by 1 person

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