Wednesday, January 31, 2018

...the Right Words

Words have power. They speak worlds into existence. They can stir the soul or break a heart.

We use them too much and say too little. We hold our tongues, when we should say what we need to say. Or we rush to anger and utter what is irretrievable.

Words carry with them the energy of our intentions, and whether it’s a song lyric, a sonnet, or a political speech, they help shape who we are, and they are what we use to define and describe ourselves and each other.

So whether it’s the voice in our heads or what we utter aloud, we ought to stop and think and pay attention to what it is we say, because we will create something with it – good or bad.

This whole thing about words came to mind, because I watched Joe Kennedy’s speech last night after the State of the Union (or Uniom as the case may be). And for the first time in what felt like an eternity, I had my faith in humanity restored, momentarily at least, and felt this long absent thing I would describe as hope.

And it got me thinking about the sheer power of rhetoric, that this could do that in just a few sentences. But it wasn’t just the words. It was that I didn’t have to wonder if the man saying them was genuine. I didn’t feel like I was a pawn in a political game of chess. I felt like I was someone who was cared about and spoken for, and it occurred to me that we ought to start speaking the world we want to live in into existence.

So how do we do that?

I think we appeal to our better angels and not the lowest common denominator.

I think we build each other up instead of tearing each other apart.

I think if there is a nice thing to say, we say it, whether it’s, “I like your shoes,” or “I love you.”

I think we start being kinder to ourselves in the ways that truly matter, and stop the internal voice that would say we are anything less than capable, intelligent, worthy and desirable.

Somehow, we’ve got to begin standing up for each other, instead of this whole isolating “my God is better than your God,” or “my race is better than your race,” or any lie we perpetrate against one another because of our differences.

Our differences are our strength, not our weakness. Our inclusivity is what enriches our lives. We all come from the same place, whether you call that place God, the Big Bang, or the Candy Man.

When all is said and done, our time here is brief. So dare to say what you want to build. Dare to be vulnerable and trust that your honesty will deepen your relationships. Dare to be bold about what excites you.

Words have power. And we ought to use that power for great things. For encouragement. For empathy. For kindness. For big ideas and stepping stones to healing. For compassion and striving. For being a voice for the voiceless. For declaring what is possible. We can do that, because words have power.

So take a moment wherever you are right now and say something nice to someone, even if it’s a stranger on a bus. Seriously, try it. Words have power. 

Thanks for stopping by today. Please tell your friends.

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