Words actually can hurt you

Published 12:17 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Words can wound. Did you know that?

No matter how many times you say, “I’m sorry,” or, “I didn’t mean what I said,” you still put the hurtful words out there and you can’t take them back.

I recently heard a story that serves to remind me of the power of words and how careful I should be lest I hurt someone.

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A man bought a pet store, and with the sale, came a pet parrot who sat for years during the day in his big cage outside of the store to lure customers to come in.

One day, the parrot saw a woman walk by.

He said, “Hey, pssst, lady, come here!”

The lady came close to the parrot and he said, “Man, you are ugly!”

Well, she was sort of taken a back, but laughed it off. The next day, she passed the pet store again.

“Hey, pssst, lady, come here!” Again she came close and he said, “Man, you are VERY ugly!”

Again, she shrugged it off, but she didn’t laugh.

The third day, she passed the bird again.

He said loudly, “Hey, pssst, lady, come here!” And when she did he yelled, “Man, you are SO ugly!”

The lady could not take it any longer.

She marched into the pet store, found the new owner and hissed, “Listen, your bird tells me I’m ugly every day when I pass him. I don’t like it one single bit and if he does it again, I’ll snatch every last feather off his sorry hide!”

The new owner went straight out to the bird and said, “Listen here, you cannot talk to people like that. The lady tells me she will snatch you bald if you ever say, ‘You’re ugly,’ again. So stop it right now. Nobody likes to be called ugly.”

The next day, the same lady walked by the pet store and when the parrot saw her, he said, “Hey, pssst, lady, come here!” She stormed over to the bird and hissed, “What?”

The parrot leaned close to her and whispered, “You know.”

You see, he did not have to say, “You are ugly,” anymore.

Those mean words were already out there and hurting that lady.

Let’s think about that.

The view from the mountains is wondrous.

Jean Brody is a passionate animal lover and mother. She previously lived in Winchester, but now resides in Littleton, Colorado. Her column has appeared in the Sun for more than 25 years.