Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me.
As much as I hate to admit it, my mother (who wasn't wrong about many things) was way off base with that little rhyme. Only a person who denies his or her emotions can truly say "words will never hurt me." A truer version might go something like this:
Sticks and stones may make me curse
But cruel words will hurt much worse.
While not as inspirational (you'll never see that on a Hallmark card), it is much closer to reality. However badly sticks and stones may hurt, the pain of cruel words is always much worse. After all, sticks and stones crush the body; cruel words crush the soul. You can kill with cutting words as easily as with sharpened sticks and jagged stones.