Hakly - San Diego, California
Entered on June 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity
  • 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.

I believe in the power of words.

Words can be of suave innocence and easily diffuse a heated moment; and likewise with utter merciless precision words may be a sharp and brutal remark easily igniting a flurry of pure chaos. As the hammer is to the carpenter, a roll of duct tape to the average Joe, words are my tool of choice. As stated by our very own constitution, according to the first amendment I have the freedom of speech. Not only that but the second amendment allows me to bear arms, and figuratively words are the gun to which I use. Shooting barrages of gibberish, banter, and chitchat, I am armed with the capacity to speak and write. I take pride in my ability to create a connection, to bridge together a band of rope constantly growing and taking the form of an anchor as so it’ll be able to support a friendship.

However despite my overzealous praise of vernacular, I haven’t always been the loudest kid nor the most outgoing. In fact I was that stereotypical ridiculously quiet and nerdy wallflower. It was my 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Lemler, who truly was the first person to begin picking apart the cracks in my shell of insecurity.

In the beginning of the 3rd grade I recall every student receiving their own notebook, and just about every day we’d have some time to write about anything we’d like. Any old topic like how your day was, what are you planning to eat for lunch, or anything as long as you wrote anything. After a couple initial entries concerning my day, or my disdain for the chocolate milk, I began to write something else, here I learned my passion for weaving a tale of silliness, comedy, and usually a dragon or two. And but of course, what is elementary school without sharing, so once upon a time I was chosen to share what I had written. Although I’m not the next Mark Twain or Charles Dickens, my classmates listened raptly. Not primarily due to my story but because of how much I was talking since I was such a quiet little boy. The next day my friend jokingly wanted me to share again, and it caught on with the others, and of course I declined. Mr. Lemler was patient and commonsensical, yet he possessed an almost childlike enthusiasm which encouraged everyone to read and write more. As time passed I grew more confident in writing and in myself, I slowly began volunteering and sharing my stories.

Simultaneously as I grew more confident I talked with others in my class whom I’ve never really spoken to before. This was the major change that resulted due to just a simple sharing of a stories I would write. It may sound logical that speaking to other is the main way to make friends, however it wasn’t until I wrote down words that I was able to use the very same words to be spoken out loud.

So even now in high school I’ve still retained my love of words, both spoken and written. Words have given me a means to shatter that barrier known as Shyness, to take the initiative and to befriend others.

I believe in the strength of words, I believe in the magic that words can change my life.