“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This is what our parents told us when we were young, probably crying because someone said something mean to us. We knew even then this business about words never hurting us was a lie.
We knew it because we were hurting, and it was the words that hurt.
Some of our deepest psycho-spiritual needs are to feel connected to others, loved, respected, valued, and safe. Words can either create those feelings, or completely destroy them (and bring their opposites). Words can hurt more than a fist.
Some of the things we casually say to one another are unthinkably cruel, and thoughtlessly destructive. The Great Storyteller says in his book of wisdom that the “power of life and death is in the tongue.”
Every time you speak, you empower something. When you speak today, to others or to yourself, which will it be? Will you empower good or evil? Life or death?
Words empower either good or evil; there is no neutral. Wield them carefully.