In a world of uncertainty, fear of the unknown, and so many risks, I have always believed in one thing: the power of words. As a writer, this seems obvious, but before I was a writer, I knew that words were compelling and evocative. Not only do they say things and let others know what we mean, they define us and impact every aspect of our lives.
Words are traumatic. I recently witnessed a passionate and troubling confrontation between two co-workers. The words used, their inflection and their tone were more potent than the reason they were said or who actually said them. The specific words that were used turned an ordinary disagreement into a disturbing event that will be etched in my mind for many years to come.
Words spark imaginations. After reading a book in my favorite genre, my mind will whirl with images and thoughts that have me writing down my own stories and adventures. A well-crafted book can sweep me into a completely different world and fuel my creativity for weeks to come.
Words are therapeutic. After a challenging day at the office, unwinding through journaling can be my only salvation. I am able to pour my very soul into the pages of my journal and express bottled up feelings. My journal becomes my own personal therapist that lets me vent, without the hourly fee.
Words are inspirational. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy stirred an entire nation with just a few words spoken in front of a camera. My high school teacher who took the time to counsel me; my mother who whispered words of encouragement as I went to bed each night; my best friend who stuck up to the class bully for me. All of these people demonstrated the power of words.
Words are entertaining. Hip hop, hard rock, folk songs, country western, and even those classic advertising jingles use words to amuse us. Music is a huge part of our culture and infiltrates many aspects. It is in movies, the school play, Sunday morning mass, on the radio during our morning commute, in the elevator, and on the phone while we are put on hold. If it’s not entertaining, it at least evokes emotion. To this day, my eyes still mist over when I hear a particular Shania Twain rendition that was our first song as husband and wife on our wedding day.
Finally, words are fun and can tease the intellect. I am an avid crossword puzzle fan and love a good word scramble. I also enjoy board games that involve wordplay such as Scrabble and Apples to Apples. And, of course, I love writing. Whether it is prose, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essays or even lackluster memos and emails for work, I take pleasure in the process and the power of finding the right words to express myself.
The power of words is truly amazing; this I believe.
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