Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sticks and Stones

 It's a funny thing about sticks and stones. We learn from a very young age, "Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me. "
If that children's rhyme is true, then why do people feel they can fling words around and that it would make any difference at all? Maybe it's because we've given them the voice to do so. We've abdicated our own considerable power by allowing some self-appointed pundits of prose to define us.

So, this short blog is about taking back power. It is about understanding that sticks and stones, when used constructively, can build the foundation of an enduring home where everyone is welcome, supported, loved and appreciated for who they are and the skills they have. It is about creating a fortress of friendships. It is about believing that only you can truly define who you are. The rest only matters if you allow it to do so. As Shakespeare's Macbeth said:  

All our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

And if you need someone to fix that window in your glass house, just give me a call. Oh, and you don't have to worry; I've got your number.


  1. A fortress of friendships--I like it. I appreciated reading someplace how your skater was encouraging the younger guys, helping to calm their nerves before/during the competition. I've also read the tweets of his competitors expressing support and appreciation for what a great skater he is. It's a funny thing about being a warm, generous, and loving person: People with their heart in the right place don't forget that!

  2. Naysayers. Every great champion has had to put up with them. The great ones haven't lost their vision despite the nattering of nincompoops.

  3. In the final analysis, your own assessment of your inner "Yay or Nay" is all that matters. The rest (including my opinions, by the way) is white noise on a black background and easily gone with one stroke of the delete button.
    My grandfather was a theater actor of some note. He rarely, if ever, read his reviews. He knew that what he created on the stage gave him pleasure, and he knew when his work was good and when it was not. When he liked what he did, so did his audience. He loved to please them, but no one was a more harsh critic than he was on himself. That's why what they said - good and bad - really didn't matter.

  4. One of the best lessons I've learned from being so active on line is that someone's mother may be reading what you write. If you wouldn't say it to someone's mother, don't say it online.

    Or, in the immortal words of Bill and Ted, "be excellent to each other."

  5. I recently came upon this post, and must say that I rather enjoyed reading it. I wish that initial line was true that "sticks and sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." As a gay man, I, unfortunately, know how the world can work. Words can hurt, and I see it in the news how it can hurt the younger even more. And it truly is quite sad. We need to realize that no only our actions, but our words, can hurt people. We must take great care about what we say and how we treat each other.

    I actually just wrote about this. I hope you don't mind if I plug my own blog entry to this since it has to deal with the exact same subject and would allow me to convey my overall thoughts to this without having to rewrite it all over again. Again... this was a really good entry. Thanks. :)

  6. My grown daughter is dealing with an ex with whom she has a baby; he personifies "all sound and fury, signifying nothing". Thank you for posting this quote. I've shared it with her on facebook. We can all take back our power and survive sticks and stones.