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WNIJ Perspectives

Perspective: Sticks, Stones, Words

Vadym Lebedych


When a bully hurt me, my mother used to say, “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but names can never hurt me.” My mother was wrong. 


Words did and do hurt.  Name calling left lasting bruises on my sense of self. A well-chosen hateful word is more destructive than a punch.  



It’s only words? No! Words are like arrows slung from the bow and when they find their mark, they pierce your heart.  


I’ll say it again -- words matter. The words we use are windows to our souls, exposing our hurts and insecurities and have nothing to do with the person we taunt.  


Now you’re wondering, another perspective on Trump?  Not just Trump; many of us at one time have hurled sarcasm, teasing or name calling at others and yes, once again, our Commander in Chief has done it. When I think the bar can’t get lower, it scrapes the ground. 


Words that belittle, destroy, harm, and are generally mean spirited are more about the speaker than the person they’re speaking about. What do Trump’s reveal about him? 


What really scares me is this: Trump’s hateful racist words are merely the warm-up act for what could come. Words matter -- WWII started with words and tricks of propaganda. This is the playbook, we’ve seen it before, we know where this can lead. 


For good or ill, words and actions matter. 


To Republicans, a few words for you: “Those who are silent are understood to agree." 


I’m Lou Ness, and that’s my perspective.

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