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