I recently read a story about a teacher who asked her class to take out a sheet of notebook paper and crumple it up into a tight ball – as tight as the kids could crumple without ripping the paper. Once wadded up tight, she asked them to un-crumple the ball of paper, flatten it on their desk and smooth it out – as smooth as they possibly could make it. “Take a good, long look at your paper, “ she told them. “No matter how much you smooth the paper, it will always have the crumple marks – it is simply impossible to make them go away.”
Imagine being bullied day after day – being crumpled, wound tight into a ball then smoothed out. Eventually, even the strongest sheet of paper will bear the marks; the scars of the bullying. The moral of the story is that no matter how much you smooth, no matter how much you try to hide the blemishes, or take back the hurtful, harmful words, the damage once done and can never really be undone.