I Believe In The Power Of Words

 martin luther
“A drop of ink may make a million think.”
~George Gordon Byron
         We are taught from an early age how to use speech to communicate. From infancy, we are taught to no longer use vague gestures to ask questions or form answers . We now use words. The messengers of speech that can so easily make or break a soul. Mere whispers of a phrase may make one’s ideals topple to the ground, or they can  construct new ones for us. They can ignite an idyllic light from within man, or they can send oneself crashing into an emotional abyss. The immense power of words has long been a part of us. For they are the basis, the very root, of human nature and purpose.
          No one remembers their first words, yet they can symbolize so very much. They are the beginning of the end of everyday primal instincts. No longer did we view crying, screaming, or laughing as the only way in which humanity can communicate. We started to truly observe the world around us–and for the first time true emotion could be expressed in a way that was not the physical.
       So much can be said in so very little. It is said almost religiously throughout the world, but it is the truth. Perhaps many a war would not have existed if humanity chose to listen to the words of others, or if repressed ideas were never suffocated. And perhaps this may be a naive way to look at the world, but is there not some truth in communication? I believe that humanity is flawed in that sense. Our pride ceases our ability to comprehend the words of others when we ourselves do not agree with them. That is, in large part, one of the reasons why words are so very powerful. There are times in which I may hear a snippet of a conversation, or listen to a friend talk about something they cherish, and in those moments I suddenly am viewing a portion of themselves. Words, in my opinion, are a powerful reflection of one’s being. I may write a piece on a frivolous topic, and even then you can hear my voice and views through the words I choose to use. Words can express a person in the most ardent way, and they are the most paramount reflection of a person’s personality and virtue.
        With the exchange of a few sentences, you may make a new friend, or a new enemy. In what world will words ever take the place of violence? Would it not be simpler if countries would use their words as fists instead of using guns in the absence of speech? There are so many instances that would have fared better in my life if either I or the other party communicated. Friendships have been lost and tensions have been created because of lost communication, or lack thereof. As an individual who finds it hard to put my trust in others, disclosure does not always come easy to me. But sometimes said disclosure is the catalyst for better things. In this philosophy, I have faith.
        Words represent ideas. And ideas represent change. So much can result from words, and so many words can describe life itself. But it is the strength within ourselves that words represent, that truly change the world.
        I believe in the power of words.
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8 thoughts on “I Believe In The Power Of Words

  1. Dear Carmen-

    First of all, I want to say that I completely agree with your take on the power of words- they are influential, beautiful, and deeply reflective of more than just what is being stated. So much can be conveyed through their use. The world would be much more of a civil, interconnected, and peaceful place if we could “use our words” more as tools to communicate instead of threats, distrust, and isolation.
    I want to add that on a smaller scale, the use of words can have just as much of a significant effect. For example, in friend circles it is irritatingly easy for people to become offended by things that were not intended in the same way that they are received. Things often spiral completely out of control purely because people ignore the vast stores of words available to them for direct communication and instead turn to assumptions, gossip, and other more negative responses.
    I absolutely loved how you incorporated the childhood aspect of learning our first words; for me, it felt like a sophisticated way of tying together the piece in a circle- literally from the moment one begins to speak to the moment one ceases to speak ever again, words reflect thoughts, emotions and perspectives, are a powerful tool of communication, and dictate what kinds of relationships we might have.
    I actually have a question for you- in this blog piece, you touch on how words reflect the essence of one’s personality. I personally believe that words can be extremely deceptive at times and that our actions are more revealing than what we claim and the words we use to do so. I am curious to know what your take on that topic would be. 🙂
    To do with your writing specifically, I was thoroughly immersed in the picture that you wove with words. Your diction was like honey to me, especially this line- They can ignite an idyllic light from within man, or they can send oneself crashing into an emotional abyss. Beautiful. The tone set forth is sincere and has a powerful draw to it. Reading the first few lines, I could tell that the message of this piece would hook me, and it did. The allure and the power that you somehow incorporated within your writing (partly due to the certainty and confidence injected into your words, partly due to some weird and wonderful Carmen-magic) is immediate and effective.
    However, I hope that in later pieces you might be able to relate things back to yourself a bit more; I found that despite the wonderful way you wrote, the piece was slightly lacking in terms of having a personal feel. This is not a negative criticism in any way, just something I thought I might note for you. 🙂
    Overall, I just wanted to say that your writing is wonderful, your content powerful, and it was an extremely compelling read. Thank you!


    1. Dear Ziyana,
      First and foremost, I would like to thank you for such an amazing comment!! You brought forth a new perspective to my piece–I had not thought of misinterpretation through wording while writing this one! Such an awesome point. 🙂

      As the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” I do believe in that idiom, and I am actually quite glad that you brought that up. Through this piece, I had wanted to convey the utter brilliance (or destruction) words can have upon one’s identity, or upon the identity of those around them. I suppose I was so focussed upon the motif of words that I failed to mention actions as well–something that if I were to do this assignment over, I would likely change now. 🙂

      Furthermore, I absolutely agree with you when you say that I should add a little more “personal feel” into the piece. Looking back at it now, I agree that it is a little generic. This is–unfortunately–something that I struggle with in most of my work. As a private person, I suppose it is a little difficult to give myself the extra push–to really expose myself through writing. And thank you for mentioning that, as well! I love hearing things that I can improve upon, especially things that I can be doing in the future.

      Once again, thanks so much Ziyana for taking the time to read and respond to my post–it means a lot! You have a lot of great ideas and perspectives that are so interesting and beneficial to hear!


      P.S. “weird and wonderful Carmen-magic” –I love it XD.

  2. Dear Carmen,
    What you said will easily excite any of our classmates, after all this is the very reason we chose this class! This belief, your belief, is the foundation of a very beautiful writing experience, because you realize the power you can achieve by putting pen to paper or clicking post. Grade nine leadership comes to mind when reading your acceptance to being guilty of refusing to listen to what others have to say. The ability to listen and understand other’s points of view will not only improve your relationships, but create a knowledgable depth to your work. I also very much enjoyed the quote you began the piece with, it offered insight yo the piece while also indirectly asking your reader to think about what words truly mean to them. Bravo.

    The contrast between infancy and early childhood is often disregarded, though you did a wonderful job at highlighting this important stage and connecting it to your topic. Each individual only gets one first word , but you add matter to the evidence and relate to the audience the impact each and every word has. First to last, whispered and shouted, malicious or gentle.

    The only suggestion I would offer is to be mindful of your flow, try explaining the connection between each idea to how this impacts us as individuals a tad bit more in depth. You may also try offering it to the reader in a variety of ways. I often use, “In other words…”, or, “This could also be interpreted as…”. Try them out and play around with them to see if they enhance flow and even reflection. Other than that I found the piece very well organized.

    I cannot deny the connection I felt to this piece, it really got my mind going. In relation to your topic, what do you think is your favourite quote (if you can not choose one I completely understand, it means you and I are very similar) and how has the quote impacted you and your life?

    Sincerely Em

  3. Dear Em,

    Thanks so much for reading my piece, and for providing such a detailed and helpful review/comment! It helps a ton to have a student in an older grade reviewing the post–so thank you!

    I hadn’t thought of the connection to Grade 9 Leadership prior to reading your comment. It definitely ties into the idea of words and the ignorance that sequentially follows. Excellent link. 🙂

    In regards to flow, thanks so much for noticing that! I agree that I could connect the different points in a better way, and the examples I will definitely keep in the back of my mind from this point on. I think that when I write with a more philosophical approach–such as in this piece–it is a little harder to get down to the “gritty” depth while maintaining flow and, as you said, reflection. Thanks for mentioning that.

    Wow… there are so many quotes to choose from!! For me, my favourites vary–often because of changing events or circumstances in my life. In that sense I think you and I are similar. 🙂 However, the following quote impacted my life in that I started to relate it to many desecrate situations in the world today, and how I began to realize that I am extremely lucky to be where I am right now.

    “Sympathy is easy. You have sympathy for starving children swatting at flies on the late-night commercials. Sympathy is easy because it comes from a position of power. Empathy is getting down on your knees and looking someone else in the eye and realizing you could be them, and that all that separates you is luck.” ~Dennis Lehane

    P.S. ~There are some amazing blogs on Tumblr that post daily quotes! These quotes are mainly from authors and literature I believe, but I think some may be from other mediums as well. My favourites are: http://wordsnquotes.com/ and http://wnq-writers.com/tagged/pq

  4. Dear Carmen,

    Hello, I am Juan from the International School of Panama and I am in Mr. Avelar’s english class. This essay is extremely powerful and very true; therefore I am grateful for coming across it. I completely agree with you when it comes to words. They can be threatening or helpful, but their importance is beyond all measures. People need to express themselves with unique words rather than with materialistic and dangerous things. The world would be a better place if people implement more words into their daily life rather than using violence or other forms of communication which could end up being negative. I liked the essay a lot, great work!

    1. Dear Juan,

      Wow!! It means a lot to have you and your class read over our blogs–it is very exciting!

      As for the response to my blog–thank you so much!! Having a whole new set of eyes read and reflect upon this piece is truly awe inspiring. Even just having you read it is a gift in and of itself! This opportunity is one-of-a-kind, and I thank you for letting me be a part of it!

      Hope to hear more from you and your class (this is so amazing)!

      Carmen 🙂

  5. Carmen,
    Hello, I’m Antonio Tabash from the International School of Panama and I’m in Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class! After all the articles read in this website i am deeply excited to tell you that this is the one that mostly impacted me and am happy i finally found one that really expresses what words could do. Throughout the reading the phrase that mostly came to my attention was the one that said”The messengers of speech that can so easily make or break a soul” i really liked the way you used this sentences in your written since it makes people think what they say. I also liked what you said in the beginning of the article when it mentioned the part in which people should express themselves more with their voice than with their physical actions since it will unite the world more. I have one question for you which is why did you write about the power of words in this i believe articles sinces its such a complicated topic and did you enjoy writing about it?

    1. Antonio,

      First of all, I would like to sincerely apologize for the late reply!! This week especially, it was a little tricky having to balance school and sports, but I am (gladly) back on track now. 🙂

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on this piece! It is an honour to hear that you connect with it, and it is truly fulfilling for me to know that it has impacted someone else. As a writer, impact is something that I strive for–writing has more meaning when it creates a larger impact.

      It is interesting that you asked me that question, since I actually tried writing roughly 8 other topics for the This I Believe prompt. Personally, choosing just one belief to write about was a challenge. So many of my beliefs are interconnected with one another; therefore selecting one would inevitably be slightly impossible. However, the reason why I stuck with words is because it can apply to so many beliefs I hold. Words is the way in which my beliefs can be broadcast, so it was only natural that I chose the one belief [words] I could (in some way) tie back to all the others I have. Good question 🙂

      I did enjoy writing it! I love prompts and assignments that really make me think about the root of my values and beliefs.

      Finally, I would like to thank you once again for reading! This is an amazing opportunity to get to know different points of views in regards to each others’ writing!

      Carmen 🙂

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