This I Believe

Brandon - Englewood, Colorado
Entered on September 24, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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“This is what I am. This is what I have become. What is love without sacrifice? My tears hold no weight if my commitment is my only failure. Each day I am born again to be a child in the eyes of love. Repeating yesterday. Drain me of my very essence, to form again what lasts.” Tim Lambesis, Repeating Yesterday.

Isn’t it strange how one hardly remembers the physical pains of yesterday, or the sting of last week, or the aches of years past? Even the pains I had even this morning are forgotten. But the other pains, the emotional, the separate pains of days, weeks, and years now gone, are the pains that seem to stick with us until the end of our existence. This is why I believe in the power of words.

While you read the passage above, written by lyricist Tim Lambesis of metal band As I Lay Dying, what thoughts ran through your head, even if only for a moment? What emotions did you experience? Did it make you sad; did you feel you could relate? What pictures were painted in your imagination?

If one stops to think about something as simple as words, simply letters put together to make syllables, and just syllables put together to make a common method of communication, a certain level of power begins to surface. To think about words, if not specific words then just words in general, the influence of such connected syllables comes to light. Words are the only things that can invoke certain emotions, create certain thoughts and images, develop certain tangents that other things cannot. One could pose the argument of movies, or poetry, or music having the same effect. But in that movie, in that poem, in that song, what made it memorable? What made you feel the emotions? Was it the actor, was it the author, was it the band? Or was it the words performed by that actor, was it the expressions used by that author, was it the lyrics of that band?

During my 6th grade year of Jr. High, I had a friend who was particularly close. Unfortunately, we both shared feelings for the same girl and while I thought it was a friendly rivalry, he took my affection as a competition, a challenge to see who could “get the girl.” When he “won,” the competition, he took no shame, gave no second thought to pouring salt in my still tender wound. And though I don’t remember what we were wearing, where we were, or what day it was, I do remember the stinging remarks, the prideful jests, the cruel taunts that he relentlessly spat at me in arrogance of his “triumph” in our “game.” I remember them well.

People have dedicated their entire lives to these connected syllables, these letters and symbols. Life mottos are just words, religious books are just words, but words that speak to us. They hurt, they build, they offer rebirth. These words have power.