Remember that kid with the big ears? You know, the one that everybody had to point out the fact that his ears had reached adult size before his second-grade body even knew what adult meant? Or that little boy that his parents dressed up in plaid pants with a western shirt and cowboy boots? Or how about that little boy who had such great hair that his parents let it grow a little long which encouraged people to say "what a pretty GIRL"! Those of you that knew that particular little boy, knows that it was me.
It has been a really long time since I have thought about that part of my childhood. Something happened recently in my life that took me all the way back to when I was seven years old. You see, when I was a kid, I always got teased about my big ears. DUMBO was a regular name I heard. At first it bothered me to think that I was not as "normal" as the other kids with their, in my opinion, under-developed hearing appendages. I remember going home after the first time I was teased and explained to my mother what had happened. She looked down at me, told me they were jealous of my...blah blah blah. Then she gave me my zinger for the next time anything like that happens again. Just tell them "Stick and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!" WOW! What wisdom that was to my young gargantuan ears!
The next time anyone said anything about my...anything, I simply muttered those magic words and wallah! I felt better! That little saying got me through many years.
Eventually, I started picking out my own clothes, voiced when I thought I needed a haircut, and the rest of my body caught up to my ears, I think.
We can all remember when we were kids and used to jump in whenever someone pointed out something that was different on somebody and start chanting whatever chant the lead smarty pants came up with. Most of us have been on the receiving end of those chants also. But really, all they were were words, right?
Today, I don't play on the playground so much. Okay, maybe some. But the social setting is much different when you grow up. People learn to hold their tongues a little bit better than when they were kids, don't they? Social circles today don't have those nasty little sayings that there was when we were kids.
Hold on a sec, got...to...put...hip...boots...on.
Okay. Enough of the bull(ony). Fact is, grown-ups are far worse than kids!!! I hear it every day. "Did you see the ...she was wearing? Made her look like a ...!" Or, "I can't believe that he lets her..." Or, you get the point. Those are the gossipy kind of things that goes on all around us every day. Just words, right?
Here is my recent epiphany. I would rather have sticks and stones hurled at me than to hear hurtful words! My body most likely will heal, emotional scarring may never go away.
I have people in my life that I love dearly, people that I care a great deal about, casual friends, and everybody else. Of course I would like to say that I have treated everybody in the same respectful manner, but that would not be true. Ever notice that you will sometimes treat a complete stranger nicer than you sometimes treat your spouse? Ouch, I know, but think about that for a sec. When was the last time you walked up to someone at the mall and just yelled at them? Or a stranger asking you what you think is a stupid question that everyone should know the answer to, so you make them feel like they need to go back to kindergarten? Or snap at a stranger because you have just been up for the past three nights with no sleep trying to meet that deadline?
Sounds ridiculous, right? Then why do we do this to the people we know? The people we call our friends? Or even worse, the people in our own families?
If you don't have anything nice to say to someone...
Words hurt. Those of you that know me know who I am. You know my stubborn, thick headed, fearless, emotionless, nothing gets to me, self. Well...people can be mean. I know that God loves me and has created me in his image and is proud of me and looks constantly like a proud papa looks at his son. But I'm still human. I do have feelings and they do get hurt. I hate that feeling.
Why then would I be the cause of that to someone else? Why would I not treat everyone as I want to be treated? Sounds infantile, doesn't it? It should, but every day we say things because we are in a bad mood. We say things because our cable went out during the big game. We say things because we are angry, or hurt, or confused about something. We need to stop taking it out on each other and start taking it to God more! That's what he wants us to do anyway!
We need to be what we are called to be and not what we think we should be.
We need to BLESS each other and not BASH each other. I guess all I wanted to say is be kind to one another.
If I ever said anything to hurt you, I am sorry. Please forgive me.
(pass it on)