Estelle Jackson

April 13th, 1977, England
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Words as a Weapon

The biggest fallacy of childhood:
"Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me."
How did it start?
Perhaps in a vain attempt
To build resilience.
Yet all of us have been wounded
By a careless remark,
Some needless invective,
An incisive insult
Or a cruel comparison.

The pen can be poisonous -
Spewing out lies, filth and libel.
Words carved out by a nib in minutes
Are capable of damage for decades.
Hastily scrawled letters
Can break hearts, shatter families,
Uproot lives,
And cannot be taken back.
Our words outlive us
So we'd better choose them wisely.

With the gift of language
And the power of the pen
Come the responsibility to use them well.
Expressions of encouragement
Or utterances of understanding
Might be highlights of someone's day.
A friendly phrase
Or affectionate affirmation
Can build harmony, relationships and love.

Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words are the most powerful weapons of all.
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