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Some More Than Others


I’ve heard the expression, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” or “I don’t care what people say about me.” Both statements are a serious stretch for those who are realistic. For me (and many others) words do hurt and I do care what people say….some more than others.

When people say, “I don’t care about what people say”, my first question is, “Do you care about what loved ones say?” Usually the answer is, “I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking about other folks.” The next question is, “Do you use social media?” The answer is usually, “Yes.” At that point I am thoroughly confused. Why would someone that doesn’t care about what people say, participate in anything that is driven by public conversations? Truth be told, those people are like most of us; they do care about what others say.

I love my family and what they think and say is important to me. I can truly say that most of my closest friends are my relatives. We joke and kid with each other and sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. During these time, relatives can say some hurtful things. There are many hurtful words and “stupid” is one of those words that send me into the stratosphere. Fortunately, I never heard that word directed towards me. However, I have known people who have been told by loved ones that they were stupid. The effects were devastating. Why? Because to those people, what family says really matters.

I’ve also found that in day-to-day interactions, people can say words that cut like a knife. On the other hand, some people can say things and I refuse to acknowledge that they are talking. It bugs me that I can’t turn it on and off when I want. Maybe it is helping me to build thicker skin for where God has destined me to be. He is preparing me to be able to withstand the sting of poisonous words.

As time moves on, my skin has become thick-ER. While I still feel the impact of negative words, the sting is diminished. My resolve is strengthened and I’m learning to separate the precious from the vile. All in all, it still matters what people say….some more than others.

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