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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

But Words will never hurt me.

I’m not sure that there has ever been a more untrue children’s mantra. I think bones heal long before wounds created by words.

While at Boyd High School in McKinney I saw this circle of flowers right in the middle of the hall area where students enter. I asked this student, “What is with those flowers?”

“A Student Died, a freshman…”

“Was it suicide?”

“Yes, he was picked on a lot.”

This type of things makes me sick to my stomach. As someone who was bullied incessantly all throughout school I know what it is like to wake up every single day and dread going to class and facing cruel peers. Toss in hormonal imbalance and pressures at home and you have a recipe for disaster – especially if you feel like you have no place to turn or no one in your corner.

My mom was always there for me when I was hurt by words, but it took years for that pain to heal.

The student I was mentoring today brought up the subject of using false confidence as a way to push back the negativity. He said that he was picked on in 6th grade and that he became good at defending himself by insulting students back. I did the same thing. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I really started to understand that when I tear someone down it is really just me trying to make myself feel better about me.

Eventually I gained self-confidence and I stopped insulting others or comparing myself to others. It’s a lesson in futility – there is always someone in the world that is better than you at something or has something better than yours. It is so much better to just be content with what you have and to find peace in the Lord. It’s really so freeing when you’ve finally taken a hold of that concept.

If you have young students, please remind them that words do hurt and that if they are being picked on that they can come to you and talk about it. Then do something to help them in their situation. If nothing else, just be there to listen and to love on them – a little love can go a long way to healing a broken spirit.

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

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