My Mother always told me –
“Sticks & stones can break your bones, but names can never hurt.” I didn’t really get it back then cause I did let it hurt when I was called names – specially in front of a group of people at school.
Then there was always “It takes more of a man to walk away from a fight…”. I so never understood that one either, since nobody at school ever talked about the ones that walked away from fighting unless they were picking on them for being a sissy, wimp, baby, chicken… that list can go on. However, if someone beat someone else up, they would talk about how tough those guys were, and everyone knew who the tough guys were for sure. I don’t think I ever made that category, not that I can say as I am disappointed about that either in retrospect.
Back in those times, we’re only talking the mid to late 60’s and early 70’s now, I can’t say as the thought ever arose as to whether or not there was always any justification for the aggressions that were put forth onto others. I don’t think I ever heard of someone getting beat up and a discussion ensuing about how he or she shouldn’t have been, it was usually more so to the point of holy crap – did ya see how bad this guy got beat up by that guy etc..
Well perceptions change as we progress in the years. We grow older and wiser and many of these Momisms start to make sense. The name calling is so easy it isn’t funny. It really is only our own minds that permit names or negative comments to bother us.
We are all subjects of our own environments, some of the conditions of our environments we have control over and some we don’t. We still must make the best of whatever conditions we have and learn from them while not blaming others for our emotional states because of something they said.
Yes, others can and will effect our lives as well as our environments. It is up to us to change what we can, when we can. In the meantime, make the best of what we have and stop hurting others for what they say. Even the Pope recently said something that, while maybe in mind is correct, I have to fall back on my Mother’s point that “sticks and stones may break our bones…“, what he said, while not a direct quote, was that if someone insulted his Mother, he would be inclined to punch them in the face. I can not accept this as a logical action. While the thought could possibly exist – to what end? Stop saying mean things about my Mom? Yay, I feel better now that I have caused you pain!? It really doesn’t make sense, since I know the facts, and if another points out negative facts about my Mother, and I don’t like the truth, then I need to grow up and learn to accept it. Yet if another says things about my Mother that I know is not truth, who gives a crap, since again, I know the truth. Why let it bother us. This is a choice we all possess. Live and let live, ignore the things that we are permitting to bother us that are said by others if they are not causing direct pain or bodily injury. Neither condition should incorporate an excuse to cause physical injury to another.
It should seem that the only reason we should be inclined to inflict bodily harm on another would be self defense of ourselves or loved ones in a physical situation. Not self defense on a premise of mean words spoken.
If another’s words do have an effect on our lives in a detrimental way, then surely there are other ways to address these issues without inflicting pain or worse on them. Fight fire with fire, in a case of words that is, where if someone prints something that we find appalling and know to be untrue, we can simply ignore them and get on with life or we can print our own version of the facts as we are aware of them.
It seems so totally senseless to kill another human being simply because they said something that I permitted to offend me or my family, race, religion, or lifestyle, etc… Just because someone says words – nice or not – does not make it real. Insult me, I can either deal with it or I can ignore it, I might even fester about it and whine and say woe is me, but if it is a false truth, then surely I am wasting my time dwelling on it in the first place. The simple fact of the matter is that I do have a choice.
Another thing my Mother was apt to remind me as she saw fit, “The pen is mightier than the sword”, this too I get now. I certainly didn’t in my youth, since I knew everything, or so I thought. I should also add another Momism, “Two wrongs do not make one right!”
Is it right to insult people on any level, absolutely not, but to react in an adverse manner on that premise alone is simply wrong. I will not condone those that feel the need to constantly insult others and I strive to not be one of them and lead by example.
We should never blame another for how we feel, as I was taught so long ago, I am solely responsible for my own emotions and perceptions of things I read, see, hear etc… No matter how hurt or offended I permit myself to feel, it is I that am permitting these feelings to exist, not that it is good to be cold and heartless, it just does your mind and body no good to permit yourself to be upset about words that you do not agree with. We are better than this, or so I have been led to believe. we can rise above it all and either ignore these ill spoken/written words and move on with our lives, as our moods and feelings about things will diminish over time as we will/can usually possess the ability to get over things over time. Or we can try to address what might have been said/written in a similar manner and add our perspectives in a way that permits us all a chance to view both sides of the coin, so to speak, and still not physically hurt others.
If you insult my God, it will not change my God in any way, and if my God is the one that YOU end up reporting to in the end of it all, YOU will pay the price of your verbal abuse at that time. The same should be said of your God, If I insult your God, I will either pay the price in the end, or maybe your God won’t even let me near your heaven and I will never have the chance to come before them. Either way, nothing needs to be done now, I can stay out of your way, you can stay out of mine, what happens to us in the end will clearly be a result of the way we chose to live and act. Your God will not be mad at YOU for what I said nor will mine be mad at me for what you said. As long as I follow the rules and facets of my religion, I shall be afforded the opportunity to go to the heavens as I have done everything in my power to uphold the virtues and values of my religion. I do not think that by assaulting you for negative words towards my God and vice versa, that I will get a pass to the front of the gate with front row seats. I really don’t think it works that way. Since I haven’t died, yet, I don’t think I will know the truth until then, but logic dictates it.