Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me … this is the biggest load of tosh ever said or written.
There is no denying that words hurt, in fact words can sometimes be the most painful things. They are often the weapons people use against one another and weapons that are thrown around with no thought to who they hurt.
When I was younger, I was told by a family member that I was getting a bit chubby in the face. A mere observation possibly, but this led to me skipping meals to try and lose weight. I spent a lot of time in physical pain from lack of food, pretending I had eaten at friends and generally being miserable and self-hating. I also began to make myself sick after I did eat.
Such a throwaway comment that they most likely didn’t even mean, but it stuck with me for a long time in my teens. Luckily for me it didn’t turn into a full blown eating disorder and I gradually began to like myself again and realise that there was much more value to me as a person than simply how I looked. Looking back at photos of myself now I was pretty tiny back then anyway.
We as a society seem to place so much value on appearances and trying to attain a level of impossible perfection. As the years have gone by I have really stopped caring what anyone else thinks of how I look. I do care that Si finds me attractive but that’s kind of natural and I care about being healthy. What I find so sad is how often people are judged by how they look.
Looks really aren’t important and never an indication of the person within. I have known some truly beautiful but really unkind people in my lifetime so far. To me kindness is one of the most attractive qualities that a person can have, forget perfect legs or a beautiful face, to me being kind is beautiful. So in this sense, I wish the world was full of only beautiful people.
I watched a programme a while ago, which I had never watched before, solely in all honesty because I was too lazy to find the remote control. That programme was the Jeremy Kyle Show.
On the show, they brought back a woman who had appeared on the show previously. I have no idea why she was on the show originally, but this time she was back to have her teeth fixed.
Not because she contacted them to have them done, but because when she originally appeared on the show, people watching decided they had the right to comment on her appearance. They commented on social media saying how awful she looked, they commented saying horrible awful things about her teeth.
Her teeth were very prominent after an accident as a child and she couldn’t afford to have them fixed as an adult. So yes her teeth didn’t look great. However that has nothing to do with anyone else, nor does it say anything about the type of person she is.
These people made her feel like she wished she wasn’t alive, like she did not want to step outside of her home anymore. They made her feel worthless.
Unfortunately, people seem to feel that they can say things online that they most likely wouldn’t in real life. Behind their keyboards, they seem to forget manners and kindness. The majority of people would not walk up to a stranger in the street and tell them they look fat, ugly, mock their disability or worse.
Online ‘hidden’ behind their screens people seem to become so much braver, so much more thoughtless and hurtful sometimes to the point of ruining people’s lives. I would like to think that the majority don’t aim for that, that they just don’t think before posting their random thoughts online for the world to see. Sadly I do know that for some it is very much on purpose, the ‘wonderful’ trolls of the online world.
It isn’t always blatant trolls who hurt people though. I constantly see tweets and online comments that people write online about celebrities. They mention how they hate this one, how that one has put on weight, this one has a huge nose…. etc etc. Celebrities are people – shocking I know – people who read what others say about them, people with feelings. People post photos mocking strangers for something about their appearance, yes the chances are they may never know about it.
However, the internet and especially social media has made our world so much smaller in some ways. Viral tweets and Facebook posts can reach thousands of people if not more. They even pop up in the news or on sites such as BuzzFeed. Suddenly that one tweet you sent to your followers has gone crazy and spread much further than you could have imagined. Your insult about that person being seen by so many … potentially even the actual person.
Can you imagine seeing a tweet about yourself doing the rounds where a stranger has mocked your body shape or something else about you? How would that make you feel?
Before you send that tweet or make that comment online on a news story, on social media or anywhere else…. just stop for a moment and think would you be happy if someone made that comment about you or a member of your family? Also if it isn’t something that you would be happy to say to someone on the street, then it probably isn’t something you should be saying somewhere even more public.
I really hope that the world my children are growing up in will get kinder, that people will realise that it really isn’t just sticks and stones that hurt. Treat others how you would like them to treat you … this is something I was taught as a child and have taught my own children.
Basically be kind.
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