‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me’. I was taught this saying as a child, to be used when I needed a way to regulate emotions that I felt as a result of being singled out for being different.

Yet, words do have their own potency, even if such a statement served primarily as a placebo when I felt distressed.

And so it goes on. A few well chosen words, uttered in the right place, at the right time, can alter a person’s mindset and ethos.

Motivational teachers often make this point, but it is easy to overlook the gist of the message, because of cynicism that is expressed in public arenas about ‘psychobabble’, for example.

Lockdowns are not easy to adjust to, but they give each person some time and space for analysis and reflection. Who knows where our thoughts and feelings will take us?

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