This I Believe: The Power of Words

Christina - Hindman, Kentucky
Entered on April 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: humanism
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

In my life, I have learned that words can accomplish much more than violence. All I have found in the realm of violence is the physical pain it leaves, the devastation and loss of life. More often than not, violence can be avoided if you use words – a peace treaty instead of a war, an apology note instead of throwing punches. I believe that the pen is just as mighty as the sword, if not mightier. We must use this power for good, not for evil. Indeed, words can leave just as much of a mark as a flesh wound, but instead of leaving a scar on your skin, words place a scar on your soul, a mar that stains thoughts and bleeds insecurities. When used with malice, the pen can wreak even more havoc than the sword.

When we are hurt, we retaliate. It is a natural human reaction. Yet we should fight back with our words, not violence. We should turn words into shields that protect us as we speak our fears and our dreams, as we defend our beliefs with them, defend our lives with them. Instead of succumbing to the idea that we are not good enough, we should use words to lift ourselves up, to tell ourselves we are good enough, we are not who others say we are. With our words, we can give ourselves the power to change the world, to bridge the gap between our insecurities and fears, and to shoot them down – with our pen acting as both sword and shield. We can heal ourselves with language. Through our words, we can overcome.

This, I believe.