The Power Of Words

Words are powerful, we sometimes forget how powerful they are. Words can hurt, help, change, excite, bring us together, tear us apart, there are no limits to the power words carry.

It depends how we use them.

I was shopping one day. The women behind the counter had a sour look on her face. She seemed unhappy, it was evident she was having a bad day, when she asked, "how can I help you". I heard she had an accent and said, "are you from Jamaica?". Her whole demeanor changed, a big smile came over her face. "Yes I am!". Well I said, "Ive been there many times, I love Jamaica". Those simple words changed the whole situation. It could easily of gone the other way.  She was falling all over herself to happily help me. 

Adolph Hitler, with the use of words, almost conquered the world. Germany was defeated in WW1, the mood in Germany was sad, they were a defeated people. With fiery speeches, Hitler rallied Germans, telling them they were the chosen people. Hitler's words convinced the German people they were superior;  Aryans. Hitler told the people they lost the WW1 through no fault of their own. Hitler spoke the words that resonated with the German people. Germany went from a broken defeated country to a military powerhouse because of this one man using words to gain power and influence.  I do not speak German, but when I see his speeches, I feel the charisma of his words.   Further, Hitler was able to convince Japan and Italy to join his conquest with the power of his words.  History was changed forever.

The oldest use of words has been through song.  Singing has been used since ancient times to unite people, communities, even nations.  A common tradition of singing in groups helped to bond people together.   Words, when used rhythmically change us by bringing forth emotions and memories.  They are able to transport us in time.  We can feel "yesterday" as words have special meaning to us.  Other senses are sparked as we are able to smell and feel our memories due to our response to words.  How many times have you driven a car, started singing with a song on the radio, and suddenly you were at your destination, not remembering anything about the drive? Have you notice certain songs play and you immediately started tapping your foot, or wanted to jump up and dance? 
Or a song reminds you of a loved one, or to call a loved one.  Words illicit a physical, mental and emotional response without us thinking about it.

Civilizations, governments, nations, cultures and people have risen and fallen through the use of words. Terrorists are able to persuade people to blow themselves up with words. Japanese kamikaze pilots were convinced to commit suicide with words. The Reverend Martin Luther King changed the history of the world with his message of non-violence. His "I Have A Dream" speech is filled with words that provoked inspiration, reflection, evaluation and eventually affected societal change. There are many examples of the power of words throughout history .

How many relationships have began and ended with words?
Three simple words, "I love you",  have the power to change our world. Yet, we sometimes forget their power, and have a difficult time saying them. The word "Love", in itself holds power, when put together with "I" and "you", they join together hearts and souls, as the ultimate expression we can give to another.
When we express our feelings with words, we can cause feelings of love, grief, sadness, anger and happiness. We can relay to others our inner most thoughts, feelings and desires using words.

Words are vessels that contain who we are, yet we barely think about them. My dad used to say, "think before you speak". We all repeat the sentiment, seldom do we practice the thought.

The real power of words comes from that simple thought. Think about  words carefully before you speak. Once you put words out there, it is difficult to pull them back when you've made a mistake and said something you did not mean. 

I try and practice when to not speak. Even if you want to say something, or have to say something, sometimes, not saying what is on your mind is as powerful as speaking. A mistake I make all the time.  Instead of speaking, listen to what someone is saying.  Listening is a skill.  If you are genuine in hearing their words, understanding their concerns, the words they speak, then that is half of the equation of understanding the power words carry.

Later when I reflect, I see it was an excellent decision not to speak. Especially if I was mad, or emotionally involved.

Try to realize the true power of what you say and how you say it, or listen to what is being said by others.  Words are one of the most powerful things that humans possess.

Amantcul Amantcul
56-60, M
Jan 13, 2013