About seven years ago, I was working with a security company and one of the duties we had to perform was scanning the worker’s badges on buses. Well, some of the buses were school buses and we all know how they are…cramped with a narrow passage way. With so many workers on the bus, I had to turn sideways to make my way down the bus to scan everyone. Near the back, I overheard someone say “Look, that big chick has to turn sideways just to move”. Now I’m not huge…sure I’m a bit overweight but ANYONE would have had to turn sideways to move on and off that bus. To make a long story short, that comment was the reason I no longer volunteered to scan the buses.
I’m sure at one point or another we’ve all been taught the lesson “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me”. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think that this rhyme is a pile of nonsense. The reality is, words can cause more damage than some realize. Words can affect your emotions, your self esteem and more. Bullying in schools is no longer limited to big kids beating up on the smaller ones. Terms such as “Loser”, “Fag”, “Geek” and “Fatty” are being tossed around at the innocent and causing more harm than a punch on the shoulder.
So how do we fix this problem? In my opinion, the most important thing we can do is THINK. Think about your words before they come flying out of your mouth. Are they words you would want spoken to you? Are they words you would say to your children? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed people spout out hurtful things that they’ve later regretted. If you take a moment or two to think before acting, you could possibly prevent hurt feelings or a messy situation.
We all want our kids to have good manners and to speak respectfully. It’s no good to tell your children to speak kindly if you aren’t ready to do so yourself. I believe the old saying is “practice what you preach”. I’ve learned that even when I think my kids aren’t paying attention…they are! So in the words of Thumper “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”.