Sticks and stones may break his bones but words will never let him rest
They eat him up then churn his guts, like vermin they infest
He can’t see why they make him cry, he wonders if he’ll ever know
He is a prisoner at school and home, there is just no safe place for him to go
Each day he’s the pray for kids to slay and his father is just the same
Even all alone in his room his thoughts repeat this negative game
He questions if life is just a strife as he repeats the same day again
He feels so small and hates it all when will he find a friend?
All alone he’ll never know, at 13 his life he chose to end
Sticks and stones may break our bones but words can end a life
We don’t know what others feel so to everyone we must be nice
By Mona Nyree Stephens
Let the deeper message of the poem Sticks and Stones Bullying sink in as National Bullying Prevention Month has come to an end.
While the scenario depicts an extreme outcome of bullying the internal pain it causes remains the same. We never know the hidden struggles of another. When people become victims of bullying in childhood or in adult relationships those words often become their internal voice. It perpetuates a cycle of pain and low self-worth. We must think about how our words and actions affect one another.
Over 20% of all children in the United States have experienced some form of bullying and over 30% of adults (in their adult lives) have experienced it as well. What’s worse is 40% of them believe it will be ongoing. On the extreme end, it can lead to the loss of a life. Children who are bullied are 2.6 times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers and 2.2 times as likely to have suicidal ideation. On the less extreme but more common end it leads to stress, loss of confidence, and anxiety. 70% of adults who are bullied experience depression and in 19% of them it leads to a mental breakdown.
With the effects of bullying so detrimental to one’s well-being, no matter the age, it’s important we all ponder how we can be a friendly face to all those around us.
We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others. Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self. Caring for others around us. Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before. So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.
UCA resources available to help include the Turbulent Times Resources Center, radio show, publications and online store offering members huge discounts and always free shipping.