Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sticks and Stones

We all know the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."  Unfortunately we know this is not entirely true.  The pain from a bad bruise or a broken bone is usually alleviated within a few days or weeks.  More times than not, it can take years or even decades for the wounds from another's words to heal...especially when the wounds on one's heart occur when we are young.

One component of the Girl Scout Law is to be "responsible for what I say and do" (orange petal).  While researching different ideas for our meetings, I found a lesson to help illustrate the importance of being mindful of our words and actions.  I also saw this lesson performed during one of our Service Unit Leader meetings:

I asked my daughter to color a coloring sheet for use at our meeting.  I asked her to do a nice job, and I warned her of my intentions for her picture.  During our meeting, I showed the troop the beautiful picture.  I explained how my daughter took her time coloring this picture to share with everyone.  (I also made sure to tell them she knew what I was going to do with the picture so they would not be upset).  First, I asked them to note the details and how carefully she must have been to stay within in the lines of the drawing.  As they admired the picture and agreed with me, I quickly crumpled it up.  The looks on their faces were priceless.  I "apologized" as I tried to smooth out the wrinkles that permanently creased the picture.

We discussed their feelings about this exercise.  I explained how this crumpled paper relates to our interactions with others.  We can always apologize for words we say to others.  We may be forgiven.  The "wrinkles" we created on someone's heart may fade, but they will always be there.  This lesson made a huge impact on the girls in our troop.  It is a great reminder to all of us that words have a lasting impact on others.  Thanks for reading!

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