We all know the saying: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
When I was 5, and had just started school – I was being teased by the kids at school. I came home crying to Mum. She told me this saying and sent me to school the next day with these words as my protection.
At lunch, when the kids teased me, I shouted these words at their faces.
For a moment, there was shock – then laughter.
Then – they walked away.
Aha! I had done it! Those words really did protect me. I wasn’t teased again for a long time, and by then I had made some friends who could stand by side and protect me.
Of course, it’s not really about those particular words. It is just the need to stand up to those who threaten you – and to defend yourself by declaring yourself as present. I am here, and I will be heard.