Sticks and Stones …

May break your bones,

 but words can tear you apart!”

“Don’t forget we are now in the ‘Age of


We communicate with words

far more than we do with action.

So actions …

are not speaking louder than words

… right now!”


“The damage being done by words right now

is worth 1,000 pictures!”

 ~ Penny L Howe, 2013


Definitely something to think about!

What direction are your words taking?



45 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones …

  1. I have always felt that words spoken to hurt another being leave far deeper scars than any physical hurtful act. Great post as always Penny. 🙂

    • Thanks LuAnn! Me too. As a child, had my fair share there re: other children, so I never quite “got” the saying I must have heard a kazillion times or more growing up, lol! 🙂

  2. The age of the internet speaks in digital and not much action on words happening nowadays.

    This is so genius of you writing this. 🙂 Bravo! Penny….

    P.S. I just recently posted on my youtube account 8 videos of me reciting my poetry here in L.A. Would you like to see them? you’ll finally know who I am, what I look like…and what Charlie Zero is about. 🙂

  3. I like to think my words are amiable and possibly a bit bizarre but as always it’s good to have a reminder of how we can be perceived by others…the only thing that frustrates me about writing is that it can be taken out of context without facial expressions or the rhythm breaking stage directions for the words…when we are all doing holographic talky blogs then life will be better and possibly space age!

  4. I always thought the original expression was nuts – words can be so hurtful and truly damaging, sometimes taking a lifetime to be mended, if ever.

    We should always be careful what we say and how we say it. 🙂

  5. Penny, when in doubt….be quiet!

    Something I also find helpful, is when I write something feeling somewhat furious about an issue, I save it as a draft, then revisit my ‘words’ a day later. Upon further review, I can see more clearly with a cool head, and take out what was purely penned in the heat of the moment.

    It’s difficult being your own editor, but a new perspective helps.

    Pilate asked a question: ‘what is truth,’ and could have rightfully received a scathing rebuke, but more powerful was the response: complete silence. Something I need to learn more of.

  6. Oh the words…
    This is why I don’t accept apologies. I feel like when someone says something – they meant it at the time that they said it & now I know where I stand in their book. Do I ever say not so nice things to anyone? Oh – of course I do. I’m a passionate kinda’ person. And – if I don’t say it out loud – my face always does. Do I regret what I say? Not really. To some I may be a little rough & too blunt – but – I like to be true to myself & keep me real. I don’t go out bashing for fun though – It’s not my style.

    God help me!
    xx 🙂 🙂 xx

  7. I remember when I was growing up, my parents used to say to me:
    Sticks and stones may break my bones
    But words will never hurt me

    but I told my kids
    Sticks and stones may break my bones
    But words can completely destroy me

    I know I have been one to speak without thinking, when in fact I should have been thinking without speaking.

    • I think most of us (even today) are told that, more or less and we all struggle with finding the right balance, Alastair. It isn’t easy so we make mistakes. But we learn from our mistakes and grow. And that just about sums up life, Always a new day to do something positive with! xx

  8. Words are a powerful weapon. the scars they leave will last a lifetime. Sticks and stones indeed..

  9. Oh! My! This is such a powerful post.

    But can words really become more powerful than actions? So where do our actions come from? If it is from our thoughts, would that mean there is this misalignment between our words and thoughts? Would that not make us phony?


    • Hi Shakti, Yes all that you speak of are very good questions. I should have said “words spoken without thought or spoken with an intent to hurt or ridicule, and better yet, using “words that should be spoken with the thought of improving communication and helping us (humans become closer together)! Thank you for your very wise thoughts my friend, hope all is well with you!


  10. Penny it is funny how words have never bother me when I’ve been on the receiving end…probably from the time in the army when NCO’s had a go at you everyday, all of this I saw as latent humour… and when I became an NCO myself I did my best to make all comments as humorous as possible… however I know words can hurt and some times after I’ve commented I wonder if the recipient will read it in the same manner as I’ve tried to pen it… I just hope I never hurt anyone with a comment…

    • Bulldog, I just can’t imagine you writing a hurtful comment. I really can’t. I was referring to the larger picture. Political words (with hidden agendas) Multinational Conglomerate Corporations (with hidden agendas). the interactivity of social media such as facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc., those sorts of words. Both the blatant and the ones with undertones to them.

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