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Hurtful Words-Who Needs Them-Our Words Have Power To Hurt Or Heal

Updated on June 24, 2012
Ugly or Beautiful- Which Words Will You Choose?
Ugly or Beautiful- Which Words Will You Choose? | Source

Word Wounds Leave Scars

When Words Hurt

As children we repeated a rhyme we had heard many times. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” This is one of the most incorrect statements ever made. Indeed many people have been so wounded by words that their entire life became an unhappy existence. And thousands have committed suicide because of pain that words created. Even when one is an adult, words wound and impact us to an extent that we become defensive, angry, hurt, and happy and a dozen more emotions.

I am a people watcher and find it fascinating to see and hear the things people do. Simply astounding! Recently, I overheard a lovely young woman telling her grandmother about a silly thing she had done. This well educated, beautiful young lady just burst out happily with, “I am such a retard!” I was shocked and appalled. She never even realized what she had done.

How does one become so accustomed to slang and prattle to the point of not realizing the pain and revulsion of this word? I hear countless people use this slur and never fail to be amazed at the thoughtless and careless manner in which it is thrown out there. Many renditions of the word are used in various settings and always inappropriately because the user has no idea of the true meaning and correct use of this word.

Would one just blurt out a racial slur or an ethnic denigration? Not likely in this age in this age of political and social correctness. How this horrible word is tolerated and even laughed at confounds me to no end. Where is the forethought and consciousness of one’s surroundings?

Does a parent with a handicapped child find it funny? Does a physician who works with mentally challenged individuals laugh? Does the person with the challenge feel empowered ot lessened? If a word or phrase is without positive impact, refrain from using it. As a matter of fact, we are commanded by God to control and bridle our tongue and are counseled about the power of words.

I have a lovely young niece who is developmentally and mentally challenged. She is so loving and precious that her soul shows through those huge blue eyes. The idea that she be made to feel lacking or hurt by having this word uttered in her vicinity causes my heart to break. These mentally challenged people are not stupid, unfeeling or uncomprehending. Many of them are well read and know exactly what this word means. Even if he or she does not recognize the meaning of the word, the speaker does and is showing disregard and disrespect by spouting it out loud. Just having it in one’s mind should mean that your way of thinking needs a wakeup call. There is an easy fix for this problem!

Use your words wisely and do not resort to slang or cursing. It is unnecessary and detracts from your verbal skills. Few things cause a lovely person to lose respect quicker than a filthy or careless mouth. You are perceived so much better when you use manners and do not resort to lower your standard of speech.

To think before speaking is a wonderful habit to form. Picture the impression in a viewer’s mind when he or she thinks of you. Don’t you want it to be of a poised, well spoken, considerate person rather than a crude and thoughtless person who regurgitates useless words without considering the impact on the hearer?

Courtesy of

re·tard   /rɪˈtɑrd, for 1–3, 5; ˈritɑrd for 4/ Spelled[ri-tahrd]

–verb 1. to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede. –verb 2. to be delayed.

–noun 3. a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.

Slang: Disparaging a mentally retarded person. b. a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard.

The Holy Bible

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 12:18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Matthew 15:18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Colossians 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Proverbs 13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.

Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Matthew 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 29:20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

James 3:1-12 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! ...

All photographs and text on this site are protected under United States and international copyright laws-© Brenda Barnes.


Submit a Comment

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Thank you Eiddwen. You are so loyal and a perfect friend. Your encouragement means much to my heart.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

    Another true gem Brenda;your writng has that something special and I look forward to many more by you.

    I hope you have a nice weekend;take care .


  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    FaithDream, I appreciate your visit. Sadly, we use words in a hurtful or careless manner every day. And they have the power of life and death. Even unbelievers know this because they see the effects. Any time I have let my mouth take control, I always feel contrite and ashamed.

    I am so glad you found this Hub.

  • FaithDream profile image

    FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

    This is great! I love how you incorporated the Bible verses on here too. You are so right about "losing respect quicker with a filthy or careless mouth" I agree with that statement. I know it turns me away very quickly as well.

    Thanks for sharing this great article. Also, great way to tell a story with the use of people watching. We can get inspiration in so many ways.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Good for you feenix. It is important to speak in a gentle manner. I cannot imagine Jesus blurting out hurtful words. I am pleased this Hub is helping you.

  • feenix profile image

    feenix 6 years ago

    Hyphenbird, this hub served as an important reminder for me, because I am one of those people who often "says what's on his mind" before his brain goes into gear. I have a terrible habit of calling various groups of people "naughty names" and placing myself on a higher plateau than others. But thanks to this hub, I will take more actions to be on my "P & Qs".

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Thank you very much Maggie-May. This is a subject that became sensitive to me after hearing how people used hurtful words without even realizing whatthey did.

    I appreciate you reading and commenting.

  • Maggie-May profile image

    Nadine M AuCoin 6 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

    A great topic,...and I agree 100%. For the most part, I think it is a slip of the tongue. I do not think that people are that ignorant anymore. As a past Activity and Education advisor to the Mentally and Physically challenged/Special needs, I think people are less afraid and more aware today than ever about all the wonderful people with special needs. Unfortunately, too many vulgar words escape most people's mouths and it is degrading to hear, but honestly in today's society they will be shunned for their ignorance and will receive consequences for their blunders and actions.. I miss that old job, it didn't feel like work for me!

    Thanks very much for sharing and caring,


  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I feel we all should live in integrity and part of that is speaking in a manner befitting a higher self. I will post more in this genre soon. Have been too busy to sit down and get it on paper and/or digital!

  • swedal profile image

    swedal 6 years ago from Colorado

    In some cases words can hurt much more than sticks and stones. Especially when they come from someone that we care for and they can never really be taken back.

  • ahorseback profile image

    ahorseback 6 years ago

    Again , you have a true cause right here in this hub, to cure , to help others. There is no pain like that of the words, meant or not,that harm another. Excellent truth here.

  • profile image

    Janice 6 years ago

    Thanks for the reminder of how it can hurt others when you don't think before you speak. Words do hurt. You can forgive someone for saying something that hurts you, but you really don't every forget.

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

    As a person should take responsibilty for their pyhsical actions, so should they for there oral ones to; for what goes forth from you affects others. I had a cousin who had I beleive Cerable palsiey [?] he was as smart as any one and so much life inside his twisted body--once as a boy I imitated his spasms in front of my mother, the disappointed and hurt look she gave me struck to the core and never again aped any such thing. Thank you Hyphenbird for a poignant reminder and good hub.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    We have always spoken without thinking and always will. Sometimes we use language that might offend, but with no ill will intended, so we should always consider the speaker's intent.

    Yes, it's best to refrain from using certain terms, but it's also best to ignore the use of such terms if they did not intend to offend anyone. Should a sightless person be offended is someone says to another, "It's right there in front of you! Are you blind?"

    It's nice to make an attempt to rid our speech from such term useage, but since it will never happen, it's best to just ignore it unless it was obviously intended to hurt.