Scan of the original 1939 Keep Calm and Carry On poster, UK
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.” Anon.
“Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
“A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put unto him, and the best reply to unseemly behaviour is patience and moderation” Moliere. Added.
Words have the power to lift our spirits, yet many have been hurt by harsh words spoken.
Interestingly, the old adage “Sticks and stones” counsels calm, instead anger and resentment. After all, most of the time, we need not feel hurt. A few reasons why this is true:
Firstly, we may not want to react excessively to any unimportant non-repetitive situation.
Second, the offender’s bad attitude frequently reflects more on himself.
Third, the object often is to provoke a reaction. When there is none, the harassment stops and moves on.
Lastly, perhaps the aggressor is actually in pain, and requires help/medical attention.
On occasion, keeping a cool head and managing the situation well, can turn a “nasty” incident around. By handling matters appropriately, a reputation for dependability, admiration and/or even friendship may be won.
Words, Part 1