This week's prompt from Haiku : one deep breath - "Boulders, Rocks, Stones and Pebbles" caused a gush of emotions to come spilling out of me!
It may be because I live in Florida where we have few rocks (only shells, shell pieces and coral) and I grew up in NY (where I spent many days as a child collecting, climbing over and hiding in rocks) but I speak from a deep underground spring created long ago . . .
An Untrue Haiku About Sticks and Stones
told to a small child:
although words can never harm you,
stones can break your bones
I'm sorry, but the little rhyme, told to children to help them "toughen up" against bullies and other thoughtless peers, is alot of poopoo!
Words, especially ones spoken over and over, can stab like a knife and leave deep emotional scars that last a lifetime!
It would be better to be pelted with stones (and sticks, for that matter!) than suffer a constant lobbing of insults from other kids.
When we are young and have not yet decided who we are, we are easily influenced by others. Even if we are able to remain joyous on the outside - inside our ever vigilant and critical inner voice is keeping careful record of many of those cruel words to use later in life!
I suffer from depression and a deep feeling of self-hate that I can repress much of the time but that is always ready to bubble up to the surface and wash over me.
I no longer hear the voices of other kids or even my parents in my head, instead the voice is my own - clear, insistent and unchangable in it's opinion.
My point in all of this? Besides the obvious pity party?
Parents of young children - listen to them, tell them good things about themselves, convince them of their worth, help them to balance what they hear from their peers with words of love and encouragement, if kids are making "fun"of them in school, on a regular basis, please remove them from that situation - switch schools, homeschool, do whatever it takes to turn things around! Give them the skills to socialize with others - seek professional help - but PLEASE don't tell a beat down child :
"Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never harm you"