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31 May, 2006

Hurts Like A Fist

This afternoon, while lined up at the post office to mail a package, I can't help overhearing this woman ahead of me who seemed to be browbeating her daughter.

She was telling the girl, who looked no more than twelve years old, to go up to the front and look up the price of overnight mail on the lighted board above the counter. It sounded like some sort of mental exercise, where the woman was teaching the girl how to follow directions or think for herself.

But the girl can't seem to find it, and the woman's voice was getting louder, berating her for taking too long. The poor girl was near tears, perhaps in frustration or embarrassment.

It didn't escalate to screaming or abusive language, but seeing the look in that girl's eyes tells me those words hurt like a fist, leaving the kind of emotional scar that takes a long time to heal.

Words can be dangerous weapons. It should be handled with care, especially around the young.

posted at 11:15 AM by City Muse

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