An Open Letter: Sticks Stones Break Bones, Words Hurt More

I cannot begin to imagine what has happened in your life to make you feel so obliged to shout remarks and make comments about strangers; people you know nothing about. I cannot begin to understand what has happened to you that has converted you into the type of person who finds joy in being cruel to others. I cannot dare to begin wondering what horrible events you must have suffered. Because of this, my heart goes out to you and I truly hope that you can recover from whatever hardship you have experienced.

But, that is not an excuse.

There is never an excuse to call someone names, to make harmful remarks about a person, or to try and belittle someone. And, there is absolutely no excuse to do this to a stranger; someone who does not know you, someone who you do not know.

I will not chant the rhyme of how “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” because words hurt more than any broken bone. I will not tell you that your words do not bother people, because that is a lie. You words dig at peoples insecurities and have the power to stay with them forever. It may be a joke to you, but for others it is a painful reality.

No one is required to sit back and take your abuse. I can only hope that, one day, you will say the wrong thing to the wrong person and they will turn around and show you just how it hurts.

I would have more understanding of the things you say and do and the reasons behind them if you were young and naive but you are growing up now; you are older than most of your victims. Surely that’s embarrassing for you in itself.

I have tried to understand. I have blamed society for not teaching you wrong and right; for not teaching you to not say anything at all if you nothing nice to say. But my tether has come to an end. You are old enough to know for yourself right from wrong; you are old enough to learn how to empathise with another person; you are old enough know that your actions are wrong.

This is not the playground any more, this is real life. These people you attempt to downgrade are not the weird kids, because there is no such thing as weird kids – and, if there are, we are all so very weird. These people are citizens with rights equal to yours; they have lives and emotions and you have no idea what is going on in their lives.

It has gotten to the point where I won’t – and cannot – blame your parents or your school or society as a whole for the way you are turning out. You have your own mind. You have your own conscience. You are your own person.

There is a silent holocaust of people – young and old. They are dying as you read this – often as a result of bullying.

Bullying sounds like such a pathetic word. For me, the meaning has been eradicated from it. Bullying. It does not seem a word best apt to justify these actions. But then again, bullying is just as pathetic as the word…



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  1. Fantastically written OpD. So touching. Thank you for writing this. It really is something that everyone should read. Well done.

  2. It is funny that I would pick today to come to visit you. I had a very real, very frightening dream last night about being bullied. Nicely written!

    • Ergh, that doesn’t sound nice at all! But, yes, that is coincidental! Thank you.

      • No, it wasn’t. It was horrible. and my children were involved. I think I was about to lose my life and I told my daughter to call the police. You do some heavy thinking. I like that. I think too much I think….

        • That’s terrible. Any reasons why your dream entailed such a hideous series of events?

          I think I think too much, too. Or, more to the point, I know I do. We are alike, you and I.

  3. This was a really lovely and incredibly sad post. I just hope that the people who ought to read this somehow do…

  4. you are an incredible writer

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