Sticks and Stones

"Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me" Who has not heard this as a child growing up. I never had a problem with the philosophy until now.

How can I reconcile this with Lashon Hora? I am teaching Froggy that words can hurt and she must be very conscious of her words. We explain that it is just as important to have gentle words as it is to have gentle hands. If I tell her words can hurt, how can I also tell her that "only stick and stones" hurt? I want her to "turn the other cheek" and be better than those who participate in name-calling.

All that being said, "sticks and stones" don't work for me. I will not teach "sticks and stones" as I was taught. Instead we will continue with only Lashon Hora.

To see what works for others check out We Are That Family.


  1. The two may not be totally irreconcilable. Lashon Hara, I've heard, may actually NOT hurt the person being spoken about, in some cases. (by definition, it's true, and they might not even mind its being known)
    But it ALWAYS hurts the person who speaks Lashon Hora, lowering their spiritual level and damaging their capacity to draw close to God. I don't claim to fully understand it, just like I don't fully understand kashrut.
    But just as kashrut is the Torah's prescribed diet for our spiritual wellbeing and avoiding Lashon Hora is the equivalent "diet" when it comes to speech.
    And now, off the podium to finish breakfast and get scrubbing!

  2. how about teaching that words can and do hurt and one should be careful with them, but that it is possible to work to shield oneself from empty insults.

    in terms of lashon hora, a schoolyard taunt of "oh you're a doodyhead" or (as I often got) un-nice plays on my name is really the least of it. the words that are the most harmful may well not be the direct insult, but the ones that instill self doubt or wide rangingly harm a reputation.

  3. Oh this is an old post, but I just wanted to say I am glad I am not the only one struggling with the contradiction between the two concepts!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Recipe Redux - Sesame Mango Salad

Girl Scouts

Food Finds