Words Can Impact Life or Death

Bridget - Memphis, Tennessee
Entered on February 25, 2008

Walking through this life we come in contact with many different people from different walks of life, not knowing what they’re going through. The words we say “can or may” stick with a person for the rest of their life. It brings me back to that saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I find that saying not to be true because people can beat you and bruise you up and those scars will heal but those words that were said will last forever in the back of your mind.

I’ve seen words kill and destroy a person but I’ve also seen words bring life and joy into a person’s life who felt as if there wasn’t any hope for them in life. I went to school with this beautiful and intelligent young lady. She always seemed to let the words people say get to her. Kids in the school especially, they used to tell her that she was ugly and that she would never amount to anything. Even parents judged her because she had kids at a young age. One of the kids wasn’t her fault, she was raped and beaten but unlike most teens she kept her child and counted it as a blessing. Therefore fully aware of her mistake, she tried not to run away from it. Unfortunately, she couldn’t fight the impact of the words and insults her peers constantly scolded her with. They began to stick with her more and more as days went by. So by her junior year she killed herself. Those cruel words had so much power that they ate at her so much that she couldn’t take it no more. Her only cure for the pain was to kill herself. Words killed my friend.

All my life I’ve heard people talk about me, even the ones that are supposed to be my closest friends. I’ve always seemed to live in the shadows of others, while they prevail in all the glory. I never really confronted them because I guess I liked the presence of their company. I can re-call in school hearing such insults like; you’re ugly, you look like a boy, and are you confused on what you are? These are some insults that really just stuck with me throughout the years. But now I look at myself and realize these words have made me stronger than ever. More importantly, they’ve taught me how to love myself no matter what other people think. They’ve shown me that those friends were like sandpaper: they scratched me and bruised me up. But they didn’t know I was going to come out smooth and polished, and them withered up and ugly. I sometimes loose sight of how words hurt but I remember how they hurt me. So, now I apologize because I believe you can speak life or death all in the power of your tongue.