When I was a child, I remember learning this rhyme:
"Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
And this morning, I have to accept that my children are growing up in a world where that simply isn't the case.
See, my two little boys are growing up in a world:
Where verbal bullying about presumed sexual orientation leads to suicide.
Where cyber bullying from anything from appearance to social status, in the form of written words, often has the same end result.
Where I try to explain to my eight year old not to care about what some girl says to hurt his feelings because she's looking for a response, a reaction, a moment of cruel entertainment from him.
Where our politicians spew as much hate against those who have differing views as actual hate groups that 'protest' funerals and weddings alike.
Where outspoken and corrupt religious leaders take from their holy books only the words they need to twist the emotion of their followers to do their bidding.
And where stupid people with access to weapons take those words of hate one step further and end the lives of innocent people.
Anyone paying any attention at all in the last year doesn't need any links to any of these to know exactly what I'm talking about.
The world is probably full of over 80% good people. Being optimistic, we might even be able to claim 90%-- but 10% of the over 7 billion of us on the planet leaves a LOT of crazy, stupid and evil people in this world.
And all it takes is one of them with a weapon to end innocent lives. And all that needs is one strong voice spewing hate to encourage it.
To the latest victims of words that not only hurt but break lives, in Tucson, Arizona, I send my deepest condolences and sympathy.