Ever since I was young, the bigger people around me are always saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” To an extent, it is true. Sticks and stones will inflict physical harm, but words will never inflict any physical harm. Whoever coined that phrase must have been a very smart person to use those words to console another who felt hurt by words from another.
I did say “hurt” by words didn’t I? Yes they do hurt! I am sure most of us have heard of the saying that “the pen is mightier then the sword.” Words do hurt, and they cut deeper then sticks and stones. The physical wounds that sticks and stones inflict, if they do not kill you, will heal over time albeit with some scarring. The severity of the scar, and the time taken for the physical wounds to heal will depend on how severe the physical damage was. Obviously, the more severe the damage the longer it will take to heal, and the deeper the scars will be.
However, the damage words inflict are emotional. They are hidden from plain sight, no one will know you are bleeding inside, figuratively speaking. None outside will know the severity of this bleeding with just a look. This bleeding could last for days, weeks, months, years, even decades. Yes, that is how severe this kind of injury can be. The emotional hurt inflicted by words can be immeasurable. Sometimes it can even be contagious and the people around the person hurt might also feel hurt, like a disease. This bleeding can sometimes manifest itself as depression, very commonly, and at other times manifests itself as other forms of mental disorders like personality disorders, abnormal behaviours, etc. The ironic thing about all this is that it can be started with just a single sentence, a small phrase, or a word. For example, a father telling a child that he/she is worthless, or a child calling another insecure kid that he/she is fat, etc. This does not only happens to children, it happens to adolescents and adults too. One need not look far to see examples of this.
Have a gentle survey of the office at which you work at, keep your keen ears out for idle talk and gossips going round. Or in a school environment in areas where people tend to gather, one is bound to catch wind of some “juicy” gossip or a little idle talk. Most people think that this kind of talk is harmless. In some cases it is, in others it is NOT. The scary part is, none knows when the talk is harmful or harmless.
When idle talk, or gossip, harms someone, the Universal Law of Cause and Effect goes into play. The creator of any harmful talk starts accruing karmic debt for all the harm the talk has harmed. Propagators of such talk also accrues karmic debt, and the original creator of the talk also accrues debt again for causing the propagators to accrue debt. As the talk starts to inflict hurt on the people around surrounding the subject of the talk, debt mounts on the propagators, and the creator yet again. As this carry on, it is not hard to see that the creator of such talk starts to accrue karmic debt many fold as the idle talk spreads. The bottom line is all this karmic debt will have to be repaid some day. And the only the owners of the debt can repay the debt, none will be able to help.
Let all be warned when you feel like talking about something related to someone, especially if you are not sure if it is true or not. Even if it was true, do you have any business discussing someone else’s business with someone else, if it was not for the purpose of therapy?