In Others’ Words: Remember
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou, author & poet
There was a boy in my class in elementary school. John. John M. Everyone teased John M. I don’t know why John M. was selected to be the boy to be picked on — but somehow he earned that position.
During my elementary school years, I endured my share of teasing and taunts, like all kids do. At times I felt I received more than my fair share. (Does life ever seem fair when you’re in elementary school?) So I don’t know why I also teased John M. After all, I knew how it felt. I could try to excuse my actions by saying, “At least I wasn’t one of those kids that teased John M. all the time …”
But it still stands that I teased John M. — even if it was only one time. I don’t remember what I said. I don’t remember what I did. And, according to the oh-so-wise Maya Angelou, John M. probably doesn’t remember what I said or did either. But he more than likely remembers how I made him feel.
And for that I wish I had the chance to tell John M. I am so, so sorry.
That old kids’ rhyme that goes “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” — who made that up? Some kid trying to be brave in the face of being teased? Because it’s just not so. Words can bruise a person’s soul.
In Your Words: How have you found Maya Angelou’s observation to be true — that you never forget how someone made you feel? I shared a negative take on this, but this could also be looked at in a positive way too. Our decision to affirm someone, to encourage someone is never forgotten. Do you believe this? Has this been true in your own life?
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