This I Believe

Monica - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Words Can Really Hurt You

“Sticks and stones may break you bones but words can never hurt you” is a lie that has been told to children for years. It would be nice if these words of wisdom stood true. However, as we all know, words often cut the deepest. I believe that every person deserves equal rights and equal respect no matter what gender, race, social status, religion, or personal beliefs a person might have. No one should be discriminated against and no one should be ridiculed. Both take a great toll on people and rip them apart. This belief was a result of an experience my freshman year of high school.

It was Christmas break and I had gone to a party at a friend’s house. At this party, there was a boy name Eric who was good friends with the host and most of the people at this party. Just after five minutes at the party, I saw that Eric was the one that everyone picked on, even his best friends made fun of him. It all started out with people telling him he smelled bad then went to spraying him with air freshener and getting it in his eye, to making him go upstairs and take a shower. There was also hitting, punching, and serious wedgies (not in a friendly and joking manner). All of this was on top of the typical name calling and teasing. This continued throughout the night and at one point, an upper classman was punching Eric in the back and giving him wedgies continuously. I eventually told them to stop and told Eric to come sit with me and for the rest of the night I protected him. I soon got to know Eric very well and he became a good friend.

Eric also had a rough life at home; his father abused him while his mother did nothing about it. Furthermore, Eric was also depressed and was rarely keeping up with his medicine. Not only did he have troubles at home, he couldn’t depend on his friends to be there for him. Soon after I met him, Eric began to cut himself. At first it was just on his upper arms, but then soon progressed to his lower arms and wrist where he would have cuts covering all of his arms. There would be times I was worried he would try and commit suicide. Eric was begging for his friends and family to see the pain that he was going through internally. He felt that no one cared and that he was worthless. Eventually, after a few months, he received the support and love he needed to get through the depression and slump he was in.

I saw through Eric that everyone should be respected and never made fun of, even if they are a little “weird” or “smelly”. The effect of what you say might have very little effect or it could cut deep into the person’s soul. And most likely, what you say will break them down. Everyone has issues and problems that they are dealing with that you might not know about. Once I got to see who Eric really was, I saw that there were no reasons to be making fun of him. I believe that everyone deserves a bit of grace despite what you might think about them.