I have a friend who said to me, “Words are powerful things.” It was quite some time ago, but I believe I was saying something hurtful at the time. And, as a writer (one of my few true skills), I had the ability to make my words really sting.
I’ve heard that there are studies in which the power of words was tested by saying “I love you” and “I hate you” to dishes of freezing water to see if there was any effect. Reportedly, the ‘loved’ samples made beautiful crystalline formations, and the ‘hated’ samples made very fractured-looking structures. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I DO know what words can do to a person.
It’s rather hypocritical of me to be hurtful with my words, since I can still remember the things that were said to me as a child by my peers. And let’s not talk about adolescence. It’s because of that lingering pain that I have felt the need to amp up my words into a full-blown arsenal when I feel slighted. It’s the desire to one-up the other and dish out more than you’ve received.
Words are indeed powerful things, and just as I’ve seen the hurt I can cause and have been caused, I’ve seen what KIND words can do and what my own have done for others. I’ve had someone very important to me tell me how I always seem to say the right thing, the best, most perfect thing to help them stay grounded in that moment and maintain perspective. You know what? I like the feeling it gives me to have THAT effect on someone better than the scarring one.
I’ve mentioned a few times in this blog that I’m in a couple writers’ groups. We ALL have this power, and ALL have this responsibility. Even if you’re not a writer, the pain that words can cause can still last. I’m sure the people that hurt me from childhood and on weren’t exactly Shakespearean in their verbal skill. So may we all bear in mind the power of words, and pause before we do some damage to someone, because oftentimes that damage lasts far longer than it took to even speak.
Words: “With Great Prowess Comes Great Responsibility”
Someone once said to me, “Words are powerful things”.
They can be used to help, or to hurt, an array that each one brings.
I’ve used my words in scathing ways, cutting deeply as I could;
I’ve also used them to let one know their pain is understood.
I hope that when my time is up, what’s left when mine are heard
Is something benevolent and sincere or else be deemed absurd.
May others feel the light of love that’s hopefully interred
Every time, from here on out, within my every word.
I have a gift to use my words in all the ways I do;
I’ve often been praised for all the shapes that I can mold them to.
But I must revere that power that I know they each contain,
Remember all the times they’re used, intent to cause one pain.
May each sentence that I share leave no darkness that’s inferred,
And if I fail in that regard, leave the recipient undeterred.
Unless productive, taking flight like a paradisiacal bird,
May no harm and only help be born by every word.
© Jordan Alan Fox