Words may hurt feelings, but are not violence

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. It’s an aged-old saying we were taught as kids to teach the difference between emotional pain and physical pain. Unfortunately, there are many adults that never learned this important lesson.

We all know this saying can be viewed as not 100 percent correct. We’re all human, so while words cannot break an arm or blacken an eye, it can bruise one’s ego and hurt both emotionally and psychologically. But speech is never violence, and never a justification for a violent response.

In our current victimhood culture, everyone is told violence is embedded in everything. It’s insisted, we are all just victims of horrible people and a horrible country. Now, if someone takes that stance that’s absolutely their right, but no one has ever been assailed by words alone. That’s impossible, maybe offended but not violated.

People who are more sensitive say offensive words can cause stress, and prolonged stress causes bodily harm. If that’s the case who is to blame, the person speaking the words, or those that allow mere words to negatively impact them? Remember — “sticks and stones.”

There are instances when words can damage your reputation, cause your blood pressure to rocket up or even make it feel like there’s a hole through the center of your chest. But those are all triggered by emotions, or the inability to keep them under control. 

I would even argue these asinine claims are doing violence to language. But, then again, neither words nor speech can be physically accosted therefore my argument would be just as foolish.

Merriam-Webster, along with common sense, both categorically refute the assertion speech can be violence.

Violence involves physical force, which is defined as — physically violent behavior or treatment so as to injure or abuse.

Common sense makes an even stronger rebuttal. There has never been a case of words physically harming a person. Many people confuse hurt feelings with assault, but the truth remains — emotional response is not physical harm. 

I have had my share, and then some, and some more, of awful things said about me. Some deserved, some unprovoked and some downright undeserved. In all those times, never once did I feel physical harmed or as if I were being physically assaulted.

I can only speak for me, but there are many more just like me, who sincerely do not care what others say about me, or to me. If it’s good I thank them, and if derogatory I never waste a second thought on meaningless words.

Being affected by someone’s word is neither right nor wrong, it’s just human nature. Nothing more, nothing less.

Words may be referred to as “violent” when their semantic is overly grotesque or depraved.

It could be said that a person speaks “violently” to describe the speaker’s tone or delivery. Words may even inspire or incite some halfwit to commit acts of violence. But let’s be clear, words themselves are never violence.

The theories that speech is in some way violent directly undermines free-speech, it’s therefore, a direct attack on the U.S. Constitution.

If it’s accepted, or ordered, that any utterances of speech are truly violence, then an already overreaching government can censor our words as criminal conduct.

If mere words are violence, then the people who are easily offended would justify using violence as self-defense. This is already happening right here in America.

Leftist groups carrying out riotous rampages around the country. And why? I guess free opinions hurt their feelings.

I leave you with words of wisdom from two founding fathers Benjamin Franklin said, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin with subduing the freeness of speech.” And George Washington warned, “The freedom of speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the Slaughter.”