Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Power of Words

     When considering the most powerful tools available to mankind, we primarily consider things such as hammers, or even rocks, knives etc.  These items are known to have the ability to effect many things, due to the fact that they can alter the state of being of an object.  As far as I'm concerned, having the ability to change the state of anything; whether in a physical or emotional manner, personifies power.  Power in this sense can be demonstrated in  many actions, ranging from the ability to start a fire to the ability to put a smile on someone's face.  In almost every situation, a physical action is triggered by the expression of an emotion which is usually demonstrated in the form of words.  The way an emotion is worded has the ability to provoke a reaction from another individual, whether good or bad.  For this reason, words (whether spoken, written, or signed) are the most powerful tools available to mankind.
     Let's start off by looking at the power of words in a positive context.  I'm sure all of us, at one point or another, have received a compliment praising something about us or something that we did.  A simple compilation of those words that were expressed by a kind soul uplifted our spirits and gave our morale a boost.  A gesture such as a compliment can go a long way toward making an individual feel better about themselves.  Through the expression of those words, the individual who complimented you has exerted power over you; not because they own you or have control over you, but simply because their spoken words were able to alter you emotional state of being and cause a reaction.   In this case, the reaction is in the form of morale uplifting which can go on to affect your entire day.  This goes on to show how powerful words can be in a positive context.
    Words don't always have to be in the form of a compliment in order for them to be considered powerful in a positive context.  One major way of exerting power positively in the form of words is through encouragement.  It isn't unusual to go through a day of feeling hopeless and alone, and feeling like nothing you do is right.  Times like these are when words are most influential on a person's life.  A simple word of encouragement, whether from the Bible or a fellow human can immediately alter your state of mind and give you the inspiration needed to strive to achieve whatever task is at hand.  Though those words might not physically move your arms and legs and push you toward one direction or another, they initiate the the impulsive reaction that do indeed cause you to push toward one direction or another.  For that reason, words can be a powerful tool of positivity in one's life.
     Despite its ability to impact life in a positive way, words are often used as a tool to put others down and inflict major damage to a psyche.  Words are arguably at their most powerful state when used in a negative context.  Depending on how condescending or torturous a group of words are, they can  lead to the infliction of physical harm to an individual.  Take for example bullying:  there have been many occurrences of bullying in this country that have been known to cause many problems in the lives of teenagers.  The continuous use of insults, name-calling, and taunting can go as far as causing an individual to commit suicide.  If that doesn't show how powerful words can be, I don't know what else could possibly demonstrate that! 
     The power of words in a negative context isn't limited to insults alone, as words can also be used to persuade an individual to believe falsified statements.  Though persuasion is sometimes good, it is often used in negative manner to alter a person's mindset on a specific subject.  Take for example that step-dad who constantly reminds you that your goals of becoming a professional baseball player is merely a fantasy that will never happen.  Through his words, he can get you to actually believe that you aren't capable of pursuing a career as a professional baseball player.  Though this isn't necessarily condescending or insulting, it can alter your state of mind and perception, and cause you to lose confidence in your ability as a base-ball player.  This can ultimately lead to you giving up your dream and pursing a normal 9-5 job, when you could have possibly became the next A-Rod or even Jeter.  Through his words, he has exerted power over you, due to the fact that he altered your perception and changed what you once believed was reality.
     To sum it up, words are very powerful and go a long way toward making or breaking an individual.  A simple compliment can cause an individual to smile for the rest of the day and relieve stress.  Conversely, an insult can be the reason why a young lady may feel the need to starve herself in order to reach the standard that your words seem to set.  We have all been given bits of power in the form of words that can alter an individual's state of mind and ultimately lead to physical reactions; therefore use these words wisely and be the reason why someone feels good about themselves and their abilities on earth.  Ask yourself, what impact have your words had on someone today?

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