"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Quite possibly the most harmful thing any parent could ever teach their child, or that any person could teach another person. It is, quite simply, not true.
When and if I am ever blessed to be a parent and shouldering the responsibility of raising another life, I hope to impart upon said child the truth, which is that words do hurt. Words can hurt us, and we can hurt others with our words.
I was reading through some blogs today, happy to be back in the blogosphere, and happened upon something that shocked me with it's vitriol. Vitriol that was, no matter how cleverly disguised, aimed at me. Yes, me personally. This shouldn't have come as a huge surprise, considering the source, but I truly was surprised.
I know that not everyone I happen upon will love me, or even like me. However, I am truly surprised to see that I could have ilicited such a negative and hateful reaction from someone. Normally this type of thing would have sent me barreling into a self-righteous rage, looking for any way in which to strike back at the offender.
However, in my recent attempts to be a better friend and a generally more positive person, I took a step back and tried to assess the situation (or non-situation, as some of my IRL friends wish I would keep it).
My response to this person, and to any others who might harbor similar feelings, is this: I'm sorry. No matter what I think of you (or "yous"), nothing gives me the right to make you feel as though you need to lash out at me (save for extreme situations such as running over my dog, or shooting my mom, you know). I'm sorry that I made you feel like the kind of person who can say and needs to say such hateful, hurtful things. I can't imagine you like feeling compelled to say them.
So for that, I apologize to you. I hope you can forgive me.