This I Believe

Maria - Crozet, Virginia
Entered on December 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a childish nursery rhyme that many have heard. I disagree with this commonly said expression because as I’ve learned, words can alter a person’s life. Words can, not only change a person emotionally, but physically as well.

When I was five years old, I was a “girly-girl” who loved dresses and the color pink. My kindergarten class taunted me for this because I liked pink where as they preferred blue, but I took the criticism with a smile, never showing the pain and sorrow that I felt. However deep down inside I was torn apart by the harshness of their words. What aggravated my situation was that I could not properly express my feelings because of my poor English-speaking skills. My smile was the only shield I could possess. At age 7, I could no longer endure the anguish. I decided to follow a new path; I became a tomboy. I learned to love the color blue, wore pants, and I even climbed trees. And believe it or not, I even played with legos and toy soldiers. This change wasn’t bad but it wasn’t me. For 6 years, I was this shadow of myself until one day in the summer before my freshmen year of high school; I met a girl who was intelligent, pretty, but different. She was different because she didn’t care what people thought of her. I finally realized that it doesn’t matter what people, what society, or what adversaries thinks of me.

I believe if a person has nothing nice to say then they shouldn’t say it at all. Harsh words, even those meant lightly, not only hurt emotionally, but physically. Although I was not changed physically forever, it has still do this day scarred me emotionally. I continue to remember the awful moments I endured as a child. A person who is hurt physically can heal, but a person scarred emotionally will never be same again.