The Power of Words

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The Word Was God

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Gospel of John
John 1:1

Apparently, I am pursuing a theme, at least for the present. Power! The use and misuse of something which in and of itself is rather mercurial and hard to pin down.It is defined as a quality or faculty, a potential or a force. So what is it really? If indeed it is possession of control, authority, or influence over others, then its quality certainly is dependent on whatever force or capacity it is backed up by. And, whether it is positive or negative would seemingly be dependent on the Intent behind that influence.

I actually started this post before the one previous, Power―The Mirror , about Power, Love and Sexuality. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the the Power of the Words we strew so casually about. Power used as positive influence, or negatively to tear down and cause harm–power used to create a space of safety and comfort, or power used to frighten, taunt or sully. It’s not a new idea certainly. The power of the word, whether spoken or written, has been discussed in religious, philosophical, literary and political arenas for about as long as humanity has had language.

The word was God! The emphasis on the Power of language couldn’t be put much more succinctly, could it? In this new technology driven world, perhaps people have been given as much or more power and latitude as the governments, groups and individuals wielding physical weapons against one another. Negativity abounds. Everyone has an opinion, and it is often as not backed up by harsh and insulting language directed at anyone who disagrees.

Cursing and profanity– four letter words that would once have been banned from publication in most venues, have become ingrained in our every day vernacular. The words your Mother chastised and punished you for saying, now slip out of your mouths and onto your (written, online, social) media as casually as speaking of the weather.

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

George Orwell

I’m not throwing stones here. My own verbal language is salted with words that I should be ashamed of. I grew up in a world where what was socially acceptable was changing just as quickly as the media we used to communicate with one another. However, I am old enough to remember when the use of many of these words still seemed more than slightly forbidden and Bad―when the negative implications and power of these words was still very evident.

Social Media and Words

I was not an early part of the Social Media bandwagon. Though a large part of my work has centered around the internet– graphic and web design, website administrator, blogger, online shop owner, etc.– I shied away from the more Personal spaces of the social web. I was a big fan of Pinterest from its early days. It appealed to my organizational, pack-rat side and cost me almost nothing in personal interaction. A few years ago, my granddaughter introduced me to the world of Instagram and the use of the #hashtag. I liked the visual format but didn’t become very involved in it until I started a business. Since then, it has been my social media of choice.

At this point, I have a Facebook account and two Facebook pages, as well as two Instagram accounts and two Pinterest accounts. I scan through all of them, but most of my content is related to my business and blogs. I see a great deal of exploitative and unpleasant content, but I won’t participate in it and also won’t hesitate to unfollow accounts that use negativity.

Language is something else. The casual use of online vulgarity and profanity has become so pervasive that I wonder if most people even notice any more. And much of this is from business owners, entrepreneurs and professional people who ostensibly should be trying to have a positive impact on their followers. Perhaps most disturbing to me is that many of these people are parents of children [who either will or already do have access to social media] or members of supposedly Spiritual communities and organizations.

I wonder what sort of example the adult generations are setting for those who are currently growing up. How do they find outlets for their own rebellion and urge to shock and appall those older when the boundaries have already been pushed so far?

Words are containers for power, you choose what kind of power they carry.

Joyce Meyer
Change your Words And Create a New World
Original Image by narciso1 from Pixabay

New Initiative―Blessings Instead of Curse.

I’m not writing this to attack or condemn. I would just like to suggest that a little more Consciousness displayed in the way we speak and communicate might open us up to even more positive change. Just like smiles and laughter are so often contagious in social situations, perhaps kindness and better choices of words might also have that power.

For myself, I am working on a more affirmative way of speaking and being. I will continue to try and improve my outlook on life and to reflect that positivity in my language and actions. I truly believe that if enough of us changed our communications, if we expressed ourselves in Blessings rather than Curses―replaced insults and accusations with praise and encouragement―we might just change the World. We most certainly would make it a better place to be.

I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it until it begins to shine.

Emily Dickinson

Sometimes it’s the smallest of changes that can have immense impact. I know that while I still have ever so far to go, my life has changed greatly in the past year or so. Has anything major changed? No, though I am ready should it happen. I have had pain and grief, been happy and sad, exhilarated and irritated, just like everyone. My attitude has shifted though. I try not to speak without thinking. I allow myself to feel and express what I experience, but I let go of it as soon as possible. When I react negatively to something, I find out why rather than laying blame or holding grudges.

Probably the best decision I have made is to quit letting life constantly stress me. While that’s not been as easily done as said, I’ve made major progress. When I feel stress creeping up, I examine it and then justlet it go.

We create our own immediate Reality. And that means that your inner landscape, the words you use to talk to yourself and others, the attitudes you bring into your daily life, determines what your experience will be.

Make the most of #EveryBlessedDay

The Power of the Words We Choose
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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