This I Believe

Leslee - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Entered on April 24, 2006

This I believe


I believe that words hurt just as much as actions. Most people have heard or spoken the phrases, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me,” or ” I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” But, that doesn’t work for everyone. It’s worked for me, since I’ve grown up and learned to disregard what people say instead of letting it get to me. But it hasn’t always been this way.

I remember when I was in the third grade at Lowell Elementary School. I was friends with a girl named Sally. I wasn’t the nicest person, and neither was she. It was around lunch time when we were standing against the wall waiting to go inside. One of the girls in our class began to kick up some dirt. All I remember was the teacher saying ” Stop kicking up dirt like some kind of horse on a race track!” And that is where it all started. We began to tease the girl, and said things like “Neigh, neigh”or ” Here Horsey.” But the teasing didn’t end there. When we got our lunch trays and were seated, it had turned out to be out lucky day. We had carrots as part of our lunch. The next words that came out were, ” Want a carrot Horsey?!”

As the lunch went on, I saw the little girl sitting at the end of the table crying. Not quietly weeping, oh no, she was pouring out tears. I felt bad. I felt I owed her a huge apology. And that is what I did. But that wasn’t enough. We still got in trouble. Big Trouble! Transferring to different classes trouble. In the end, I learned a valuable lesson. I might have been having a good laugh, but the person I was laughing at, wasn’t. My words cut her like knives. And I had experienced the same feelings in later years.

In the fifth grade I thought that life couldn’t have been sweeter and that I was on top of the world. Little did I know, the world was a much bigger place and I had more barriers to climb before I would make it to the top. I can remember exactly what was said because it made me so mad. It was late in the day, almost time for school to let out, I was in class and the teacher had asked us to raise our hands when we thought we knew the answer to her question. Well, I thought I knew the answer, but it turns out there are 50 United States, Canada is not one of them and North America is not a country. The only words I remember hearing were, “How stupid are you?” I was mad!! And my outer layer of rubber slowly faded as my anger grew to embarrassment and sadness. “Why hadn’t the words bounced off of me?” And that is where I realized that words may not break bones, but they can hurt what’s on the inside.

Through my experiences, I have learned that words can hurt more than actions. They can break a young child’s spirit, and they can also kill a grown man’s pride. They can help you achieve great goals in life, and they can also put you in bad situations. All in all, words can teach you many things if you know how to open up to their wonders.

“Sticks and stones,” may work for some, but it doesn’t work for everyone. I believe that words hurt just as much as actions. This I believe.