Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me!
Whoever coined the above expression didn't understand much about the human soul.
Let's take "Pigpen" for example. Charles M. Schulz never gave the little guy - one of his most famous cartoon-character creations - a real name. Ever since he became one of the "Peanuts" regulars in 1954, this little fellow has only been known by the name of "Pigpen".
"Pigpen" rolls with the verbal-abuse punches his parents, siblings, and friends dish out to him, but inside, there's no doubt that he's bleeding - constantly. Some smile when they read a cartoon featuring Pigpen. Personally, I both wince and shed a tear.
Think about this for a moment: Can you expect a child whom the entire world addresses as "Pigpen" to be neat and clean? Can you expect him to bathe or to pick up after himself? Can you expect his briefcase, his notebooks, or his desk to be orderly? Never in a million years!
Suppose we were to discover that this little boy's mother and father coined the horrendous nickname of Pigpen. We'd be furious and indignant, wouldn't we? We'd ask ourselves how can people be so cruel as to bury their child alive in a coffin of a negative self image, driven into him from an early age, that he's a filthy, messy, slob and a social misfit. What can possibly be expected of such a child?
Where do parents get the license to murder their kids with verbal abuse? Where do they get the right to call their children "lazy", "stupid", "fat", or "coward"? Insulting a child is every bit as cruel as beating him with a stick or stone; in many respects, the human soul is far more fragile than a human bone. Broken bones heal faster than broken souls...