I make no apologies for today’s post being more emotional and sentimental.
The phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me‘ is well known throughout the English-speaking world and surprisingly goes back some way. A quick web search found that in the The Christian Recorder of March 1862, there was this comment:
Remember the old adage, ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me’. True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.
So if in 1862 the saying was referred to as an ‘old adage’ then it clearly pre-dated 1862 by some degree.
A few days ago, Dusty M., here in Payson, AZ, sent me a short YouTube video called The Power of Words. I’m as vulnerable as the next guy to needing being reminded about what’s important in this funny old world. Then I started mulling over the tendency for all of us to be sucked into a well of doom and gloom. Take my posts on Learning from Dogs over the last couple of days, as an example.
There is no question that the world in which we all live is going through some extremely challenging times but anger and negativity is not going to be the answer. As that old reference spelt out so clearly, “True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.”
So first watch the video,
then let me close by reminding us all that courage is yet something else we can learn from dogs.
In 1925, a ravaging case of diphtheria broke out in the isolated Alaskan village of Nome. No plane or ship could get the serum there, so the decision was made for multiple sled dog teams to relay the medicine across the treacherous frozen land. The dog that often gets credit for eventually saving the town is Balto, but he just happened to run the last, 55-mile leg in the race. The sled dog who did the lion’s share of the work was Togo. His journey, fraught with white-out storms, was the longest by 200 miles and included a traverse across perilous Norton Sound — where he saved his team and driver in a courageous swim through ice floes.
More about Togo another day.