The power of words
Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
Recently. A huge bomb was dropped on the children of my college. Results.I was one of the unfortunates who received a full hit from said bomb and suffered many injuries. How did I cope with the disappointment? Tried the first option that came to my mind- something that almost always works-chocolate. Didn’t work. Second option-I spoke to a few friends, some who were successful in making laugh, some who weren’t. Some who cheered me up, some who didn’t. It helped, but it was just temporary relief. So how did I truly cope? I wrote.
At 3 am, I grabbed my laptop and let my emotions flow on the screen. Exactly 20 minutes later, I had materialized a highly dramatic, emotional rant. Did that help? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it did. I felt lighter, better and more level-headed. That is just one of the many instances when the power of words has saved me.
Long before I began, words existed. Even in my infancy, I babbled indistinct jargon to empty air. As a toddler, my parents spoke to me and urged me onward as I struggled to coerce meaning into form. With great exertion, I studied the shape of their mouths and attempted to recreate the sounds myself. Through practice, frustration, and failure, I learned words.
But after nearly two decades of befriending new words, there are still words left unlearnt. Each new introduction excites, confounds, and embarrasses me all in one breath. When I shy away, they beckon me to understand. Thankfully, the words are gracious to those who delight in their discovery. I live to encounter them; to be empowered by them. Written or spoken, words can be truly powerful.
Words truly set one’s mind free. One minute, youre sitting there with muddled thoughts in your mind. The next moment, you grab a paper and a pen, and there- you have a clear plan. Feeling sad? Grab a diary, write your feelings. And you feel instantly light. Want to tell your friend how much they mean to you on their birthday but think it will make you seem like a pansy? Write what you feel on their birthday card.
And of course, the most clichéd- love letters. Scores and scores of beings have employed this rather clever tactic to express their “love” to their beloved, when they are too afraid or feeling too stalkerish. Of course, the repercussions may result in slaps, punches, or even restrain orders, but at least the weight is off your chest.
And, in a rare case, the girl may actually get pacified and there, you have acquired the love of your life.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Have you ever stopped to actually think about this phrase? Bones will break and heal, but words… words can truly break one’s heart.
One careless phrase, a random insult or even a playful statement may leave a deeper impact than you can possibly imagine.
Bullying- one of the gravest problems faced by teenagers- is mainly verbal. Insults stacked on day after day can destroy a person’s confidence, deteriorate his mental balance and can lead to harmful repercussions. In USA alone, almost 5000 suicides occur annually because of bullying. Victims of bullying are suggested not to take it to heart, but I ask you, is it really possible? No matter how much you try to ignore , the words cut through your soul like a sharp dagger.
Hence, it is true that Words can make you or break you.
They can inspire you to achieve great heights, create history, weave magic. Words can be used to enlighten minds. Sometimes, they rekindle the dying fire within you.Sometimes, they serve as consolation. Sometimes, they infuse life and enthusiasm within you when youre sick and tired. Sometimes, they just release your tension and stress.
Truly, Words build humanity
As for me, I depend on words. If I use them cleverly, my parents will give up arguing and side with me. If I can string the right ones together, maybe I can heal the broken heart of a friend. I believe we take their power for granted- we seldom give out the compliments and encouragement we have enough of to bathe in—yet carelessly spew the ones that cut like knives. The words of one dictator nearly exterminated an entire people in the Holocaust. We so quickly underestimate the influence in every word we say, and the power words possess to either facilitate or decimate.
So ladies and gentlemen, I advise you to use your words carefully. Dole out compliments, but not to the extent of seeming sycophantic. Give advice, but only when asked. Be critical, but not mean. And mostly, appreciate the sheer beauty of words.