Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Lesson of Robert Strong

"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

I am a sensitive person--well, actually excessively sensitive.  Example--When I was in third grade, at recess time I was playing on the monkey bars, and Robert Strong--a fourth grader who lived up the river--yelled out, "Hey, look at that fat monkey on the bars."  All the kids laughed.  I never played on the bars again.

I was a chubby girl, but not fat.  I had never worried about it before, but I think maybe it was at that point that I became self-conscious of my image.  I felt that I carried a "fat girl sign", and could hear the kids laughing at me.  Even when I was thin, my mind still saw that sign.  Now, I know that a good therapist probably was in order, but that's not the object of this story, it is to emphasize how our words have a life of their own.  

James 3:10  And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! (NLT)

Ephesians 4:29  Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.(NLT)

I want to be remembered for the encouragement that I give others.


  1. I was, am, a sensitive soul also, wearing my feelings and heart on my sleeve always. I understand the sting of harsh words and carry lessons from the words of others in my mind even now. Great post, we should always remember that even words can break hearts and minds.

    Have a great Sunday.


  2. Excellent point! It's so sad what we carry with us,the very best memories and the very worst ones stay at the surface with us our whole lives and the worst ones can be the loudest in our minds.

  3. I had almost the same experience growing up. I was always the "fat kid" and felt shame about it. It is a terrible burden to carry as a child..or as an adult. It took me years to let go of those hurtful remarks that I heard as a child. xo Diana

  4. I can so relate to this! I was horribly picked on when I was in elementary school because of my overbite. A terrible boy would call me names and chase me around the school yard. It was horrible. But I was so painfully shy I never told anyone. And I'm sure the teachers heard but they didn't do anything either. It's amazing that even though I had braces and my teeth are fine now I can still hear that boy calling me "beaver" every now and then and the memory comes back. Great verses!!! I have another friend here in blogging whose grandson is also going through something like this and it just breaks my heart. Hope you have a nice Sunday!

  5. I am so sorry that
    someone's rude comment
    kept you off the monkey
    bars. I love Ephesians 4:29
    and try to keep it at the
    front of my mind. We
    are so vulnerable to zingers
    like this, especially as
    innocent little ones.

    xx Suzanne

  6. Words can hurt so deeply. I wear my heart on my sleeve so I can really relate.
    Sweetie you are a loving and caring soul that's what people will remember.
    Hugs Lynn

  7. I SO needed to see this today, Marti!
    Even 50 years later, my silly mind will return to childhood wounds ("Her? You mean the one with the big nose?") ... and unChristian thoughts of revenge ... instead of learning to accept myself.

    Occasionally I'll still gaze in the mirror and stick out my tongue. But then rationalize, "Hey, oxygen is free, and I'm getting so much more than the other guy!" Ha!

    Blessed be the kind.

  8. Having naturally curly hair (that really had a mind of it's own on a good hair day when I was little) I can relate to how words can be damaging. Into most of my adult life I still looked at the curls as a bad thing... and was so grateful when a friend introduced me to the flat-iron!!

    Wonderful post!! and great reminder!! xo HHL

    1. It's a good reminder to be careful what we say. The tongue can be a wicked thing.

  9. Had to read this being directed here from a more recent post. I was the fat girl on the monkey bars with a hole in her underwear! No, I've never gotten over it. ;>