Though Sticks and Stones?

March 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm 6 comments

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I have been thinking about words and their power. Rhetoric is a wonderful talent if you have it. When you can take your passion and translate it into speech or prose you will be able to persuade and draw people to you. I am not talking about fancy words and overblown language, you lose your message if people have to concentrate on understanding the ‘words’. Simple words will capture an audience more effectively. When you think back to some of the greatest speeches in history they had a strong, clear and simple message. The language is crisp so that the message is all. I will give you a few examples; they will be familiar to you demonstrating their longevity:-

JFK – And so, my fellow Americans : ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world : ask now what America will do for you but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Martin Luther King – I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Mohandas Gandhi – Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.

Daniel O’Connell – The altar of liberty totters when it is cemented only with blood

Winston Churchill – I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

There are many other quotes I could have used; I hope you agree that the examples above show language at its most powerful. Words will inspire love and compassion when used wisely. Those who use words well will always capture my attention and imagination, I am a sucker for good words…..

However, there is, as always, another side to words. They can wound deeply and unforgettably, often in the most casual way. I am not talking about swearing, I am quite good at that! For me the cruelty of words is often associated with tone and carelessness, a lack of regard. I have witnessed words being used to diminish and deride, I have been on the receiving end, we all have. To my shame I know I have done the same myself. However, I know that the damage from ill-used words and tone can last, you may think me over-sensitive (I would agree) but I’ll bet that you occasionally hark back to conversations you prefer had never taken place.

I know that words do not cause immediate physical damage, many of you may think this post ludicrous. However, words have an emotional impact and those on the receiving end of too many cruel words will be impacted; this may manifest itself in physical illness. It is your choice to have a positive or negative impact with your words. I hope you choose the former.

The rhyme may state ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’; I am not altogether convinced. I hope this post gives you pause for thought, I am off to indulge myself by seeing what my favourite raucous, foul-mouthed banter twitterers are up to!

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.


And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Entry filed under: Children, Donating, Giving, Language, Life, Rhetoric, wheniwas8, words, Writing. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Sometimes No News is Good News……. Chortles!

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. myinconsiderateinterjection  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:59 am

    If it is to develop the talent for rhetoric in young people needs to be nurtured, just like any other talent: remember, before they could read and write all great rhetoricians were complete and utter illiterates, and some of them even remained complete and utter ignoramuses all their lives as well.

    • 2. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  April 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Indeed you are right, Mr Interjection, if I may be so bold. A skill for oratory can persuade those who listen, at least for a short time. The true test is the content; if your argument can convince someone for longer than the time it takes to digest the points made then you are truly multi-talented.

      I will go back to your blog, am particularly impressed with your About page, loved it.

      Take care,

      Lesley x

  • 3. Iain M Cooke  |  March 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Great post yet again lovely xx

    • 4. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  March 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm


      Thank you hun. With all the efforts you put in it makes me very happy that you take the time to read and comment on here.

      Lesley xx

  • 5. Iain  |  March 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Very, very true Lesley.

    I’ve been on the receiving end of cruel words, and not too long ago either. But I’m an adult and can (usually) deal with it.

    But I came across this many years ago, by a client of Childline
    and its just what you are talking about:

    Sticks and stones may break my bones
    But names can also hurt me
    Sticks and stones break only skin
    But words are ghosts that haunt me

    Pain from words has left it’s scar
    On mind and heart that’s tender
    Cuts and bruises now have healed
    It’s words that I remember

    • 6. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  March 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      Oh Iain,

      What a response. I had never seen this, it is so true. Thank you lovely for sending this to me…..



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