I beg to differ. Words can do so much more damage than a simple punch in the face. If you've ever been told you were fat, ugly, stupid, or any other myriad of words, you understand. All the words translate into a feeling of worthlessness. Sadly, we don't talk about it as much, but it doesn't stop when we become adults.
My sister, Tara, shared a really powerful story about adult bullying with me today. A man who lives near her has suffered for years at the hands of people who throw around the word fat like it doesn't hurt as much as a punch. It does. When Jerry said he considered ending his life, I broke into tears. Tara, who appears briefly in the video, works at the fitness center that has given Jerry a new lease on life. A place he can belong.
Please take a moment to read the article and watch the video: Washington Man Bullied As A Teen, Bullied As An Adult. It'll break your heart, but more importantly, I hope it will make you think. Words are as powerful as punches, and the long lasting effects are much more damaging.
I am a writer, I live day to day in a sea of words. I know their impact.
Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
Remember to use your words nicely. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Sure, it's what we tell our children, but we need to walk the walk. If our kids hear us saying mean things, all the preaching in the world won't stop them from being mean adults.
Let's stand up for the Jerrys of the world, regardless of age.