Words Can Harm. Words Can Heal.

Submitted by on Thursday, August 31, 20068 Comments

Words Can Harm
This is Part 1 of a 7 part series entitled “Words Can Harm. Words Can Heal.”

Words can harm. Words can heal. A Samsara Series.Remember that old nursery rhyme?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!”

Have you found that to be true for you?

I haven’t. Words can hurt me. I always felt inadequate when I was younger and would remember that nursery rhyme. I used to wonder what was wrong with me for having my feelings hurt when people would say mean things or become sarcastic or, even worse, call me names. Then I grew up and discovered that others also felt hurt when people used their tongue in the direction of anger, sarcasm, and gossip. Finally, I began feeling normal that my feelings could be hurt. Isn’t it funny the stock we placed in little things we learned as children?

“I’m rubber. You’re glue. Whatever you say, bounces off me and sticks to you!”

Another nursery rhyme saying. If the first one were, indeed, true, why would we need to continue on with the second nursery rhyme? It either doesn’t hurt me or it will bounce off me and stick to you – seemingly with the intention of hurting you – so which is it? So many mixed messages.

“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Now isn’t this one in total conflict with the above? The pen writes words and the sword kills. So if words are as benign as the above nursery lie rhyme would have us believe, how is it that the pen can be more mighty? If only sticks, stones, and swords can “break our bones” how can a pen, that writes words, be even mightier than that if words will never hurt me? It baffles ones mind the mixed messages we receive. No wonder we’re all to eager to pay a psychologist to fix us. And if words did, indeed, have no impact or at least no harmful impact, why do millions of people buy self-help books with such zest and watch Dr. Phil with such vigor? If you have ever been hurt by words you are not inadequate or abnormal. You have just proven yourself as a person with feelings.

Anagram time: What fortuitous word can be formed when we rearrange the letters of sword that could seemingly imply it to be a quite “double-edged” powerful noun?

Untruths and more untruths. More programmed “lies” we try to tell ourselves in order to pretend all is right with the world. Pretending is harmful in this context. If we continue to pretend we haven’t an infection we won’t seek treatment for it. It’s my hope to acknowledge the “what is” to such a degree that others gain comfort in doing the same. When enough people are proving the example that healing and serenity can be had – even in the face of painful truths, like “words can harm” – then we can learn the remedy. By learning the remedy we can recreate our world.

Tomorrow, in Part 2 of the 7 part series, “Words can Harm. Words can Heal.
Look for it Friday September 01, 2006.



  • Mon said:

    God, I can remember back when I was 14 things that were said to me. If words didn’t hurt, I would remember the praise I received, and not the words to hurt me.

  • samsara (author) said:

    Me too Mon. I will re-feel and remember the harmful words…and the praise or the loving words…? I somehow tend to forget those in the face of the hurtful ones. I wish it were opposite. Wish I could forget so eaily the hurtful ones and remember and re-feel the good ones. How loving and more fulfilling life could be!

    Yes, hope to get to that “secret” with the last article of the series.

  • Jonathan said:

    Yeah I think that the words can really be harmful
    No I really sure they are
    Thre’s so much pain in ’em

  • samsara (author) said:

    Jonathan, Thank you for your response. I believe that if we can acknowledge – and help try to teach others too that it’s okay to say “hey your words hurt me” then we diffuse the lie that they don’t. i think, in this way, they do not have to have so much power over us when they are harmful.

  • Jonathan said:

    I’m very glad that you’ve answered n I agree, absolutely agree with u. We should operate a word, instead of a word operate us!
    And I wanna give u a thx cuz u do a good job
    I can feel an enegry in ‘ere, a deep spuritual enegry. THX.

  • Dr Eduardo said:

    Words hurt more when they come from people we love.In this regard I should say that women, when approaching menopause, may have a sharp tongue.I like to think of them as a lack of oestrogen. However, that is no excuse for hurting others.Some things may be a real blow to a man’s ego.But then again those words do not define who you are.

  • ron c. baker, sr. said:

    words are the only weapon people know will do the most damage, and that will be the most permanent. words in the hands of truly cruel people cause more paim and suffering than any gun or bomb will ever do in people’s personal, day-t-day lives. if you really want someone to know how much you hate and despise something or someone, just toss out a few well chosen words and you can cause hell to brake loose in very large chunks.



  • samsara (author) said:

    Absolutely, Ron! I am glad I am not the only one who thinks it’s a nursery lie to try to diminish the power of words by attempting to lie to children that words don’t hurt or shouldn’t.

    Words can cause more misery and dis-ease than anything else I can think of. And when used harmfully, it can cause dis-ease to spread faster than any physical form of cancer ever could.

    Physical cancer rattles our physical bodies. Spiritual cancer rattles our spirit…that uniquely *us* thing that breathes life into our bodies.

    This is why today I choose to be a messenger of encouragement and hope to everyone suffering from people who misuse words. If we can spread dis-ease, I KNOW we can transmit the opposite! I know we can transmit, health, happiness, tolerance, and peace.

    Thanks for commenting Ron! :)

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