Posted by Mike Foster: (This portrait is part of the Labels Lie Campaign. Please share.)

Most of us will never forget the hurtful things that were said to us as children.

Words of shame. Verbal abuse. The screaming and yelling. Forever branded by the uncensored words that were spoken by insensitive parents, relatives, friends, classmates or teachers. The labels hurt and they leave a mark.

Supposedly we just move on and grow up and we live our lives and that's that. But I'm not so sure.

In doing research for the Labels Lie campaign I listened to your stories. Stories of pain. Stories of people trapped by harsh and critical words from their childhood.

Recently, I read an article about a man convicted of murder. He shared how when he was a child his alcoholic Mother looked him in the eyes and said straight to his face, "If I would of had the 50 bucks I would of aborted you. But now I'm stuck with you." I can only imagine how that horrific moment played a part in shaping his eventual future.

The Labels Lie campaign is about dealing with the ugly things we believe about ourselves. And for many that starts with branded messages of our childhood.

So maybe today we could acknowledge what was said and done to us as kids. And with courage we can refuse to allow it to have power over us. Perhaps if we faced the lie of the label, we could finally be freed from it.

And maybe for parents and adults, this is a reminder to be softer with the things we say to our children.

For others, this is a reminder that bullying of children is unacceptable in all forms whether it comes from an adult or a classmate. If you're doing that, it must stop now.

Labels Lie. Don't Accept Them. Don't Use Them.

I would love to hear your thoughts.


Mike Foster