This I Believe

Tammy - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on November 15, 2006

The Power of Words

I believe in the power of words, the ability to convey words into a statement of truth and love that can shape a world. The bible says, “The power of life and death lies in a person’s tongue.” I believe that words have the power to edify or destroy a life.

My mother never lifted a hand to chastise me, she used her words. They were not harsh, bitter, hateful words. The words she used were stern, firm and commanded my attention. Yet the words were full of love, concern, and very insightful to my present surroundings. Her words pierced my soul and slapped me with reality.

My mother was a functioning addict, I believed her love for me gave her the drive to her function. As long as I can remember my mother used some type of drugs. In my early childhood up to my preteens, she just used marijuana. She started using crack when I was around 11 years old. I have older siblings and they also started using crack. My mother would sit down and talk to me and tell me to observe her and my siblings. She would clearly communicate to me not to make the same mistakes they were making.

I watched as this drug stole my siblings’ soul. They became drones to this drug with one purpose, and that was to get their next fix. My mother held on to some of her soul, and she kept that part reserved for me. She became my preacher always preaching to me the dangers of drugs and not falling into its trap. “Yes,” she did not practice what she preached, but I felt the sincerity, and love from her words. I allow those words to form me and shape me. Her words not her actions saved me from a world of drug abuse.

Eventually I became her preacher and minister to her with my words. My mother later informed that my words saved her life. She is now entering her tenth year of sobriety.

Some words that I have received in my life have brought death, causing my dreams and visions to wither. I have learned how to pluck the dried and withered leaves from my stem, leaving room for words of life that bring forth green blossoms. Words have formed and shaped me, and now I use these words to form and shape the ones around me. I believe in the power of words to mold, to shape, to strengthen and to save