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The Power of Words
(Think about what you're saying).

Have you ever thought about the basic form of communication that everyone uses: language? I mean, regardless of what country you live in or what language you speak, there is a basic form of communication: speech. Sometimes, I think, that we use speech, the basic form of communicating our thoughts and opinions, without thinking. It seems as though we don't really stop and consider the effect that our words have one the ones hearing them. Or do words even have an effect on lives?

I believe they do. In fact, I believe that speech is really the most powerful tool - and weapon - that humans have. Most of us would probably agree but the sad thing, to me, is that, even though we acknowledge speech is a powerful thing, we don't really take that into consideration when speaking to others. Why is that? Do we speak without thinking about the effects those words have on our loved ones because the 13th amendment (a law in the USA), that there should be freedom of speech, has been drilled into our heads and so we feel safe to say whatever happens to come to mind? Or is it because saying things, even things that are hurtful, helps us feel better... releases our anxiety and our emotions?

Maybe it's because writing is a way for me to express myself and sometimes, it's the only way I can express myself, words have always had a special meaning to me and I take them very seriously. A few of my friends have often told me that I'm too sensitive, that I overreact to things that are said to me, but... how can you overreact to something that is said and that affects you in any way?

It's my belief that words shape who we are and what we do with our lives and I believe that if you are told something, anything, for long enough a time, you actually begin to believe it and when you believe something then your perception of life and of yourself are altered.

If, for example, you were driving and you passed a barn that had a sign in front of it that said, "Most Photographed Barn in America," you would more than likely believe it and even though it was just a normal, empty barn, my wager is that you might even go home and tell someone that you had seen the most photographed barn in America. But wasn't the sign just words: words that you believed and that altered your view of that barn. Likewise, if someone continually tells you that you're horrible at everything you do and that you can't do anything and that you aren't worth anything, the sad thing is that eventually, you will begin to believe that and when you do, your self-esteem, the way you view yourself, will change. If you're told that you're horrible, even though it's not true, even though you aren't horrible and the things you do aren't always wrong, you'll begin to believe it, and when that happens your self-esteem lowers. Did you know that suicide results from low self-esteem?

To me, if suicide can be a result from things that we are told, from words, that's a pretty strong signal that words are desperately important. Why, then, do people choose to use words that hurt us? It's true that I think that sometimes we need an "eye opening experience" where we need to see things about ourselves that are hurting us, even if hearing it may hurt us, but, most of the time negative things which we are told are said out of revenge. Personally, I would hate to see something bad happen to anyone and all because I became so upset because of something that was said or done that I used words to deliberately inflict pain.

We are all human and the life that we have been given has many trials in it for us already: there are many things in this world that aren't going to change, regardless of how we may feel about it, but the one thing that we can change for ourselves is the way we use this tool: words that we have been given. Why, by the way, were we given the tool of words? I believe that we were given words so that we might understand one another and that we might be able to better communicate: not so we could use it as a weapon against those closest to us.

Many times the words that we hear aren't even true: they're fabrications; lies that were made up because of revenge or because of some other reason, but the fact remains that there are some of us out there who believe the lies which we are told and who are hurt by words that aren't true or that may have even been said in jest. Because of this: because we can never be sure who is more sensitive and more likely to "overreact" to our words, maybe we would do well to think about what we say more and be more careful about the words we choose. After all, how many words are there in any given language? Thousands, at least. Out of those thousands of words, couldn't we choose less abrasive, less painful words than "hate," or swear words spoken in anger?

We have all been hurt by words: in fact, it's my guess that we have been hurt by words more times than we have been hurt by other things, and wounds made by words do not heal as fast as physical wounds heal, and the consequences of painful words can be even more severe than the consequences of physical wounds.

The ultimate words, "I love you" were spoken by God and those beautiful, most wonderful words of all, are continually whispered to you by Him, if not by anyone else. Please, don't ever forget that and don't forget that there are words that can and do hurt us and that if we can learn how to replace those painful words with loving, kind and honest words, then our world could be brighter and happier. A peace could come inside of you that you deserve. I pray every night for that peace to come to each of you and I thank each of you for the words that you have given to people around you that have helped build their esteem and confidence in themselves. Always remember that God is smiling down on His children, whom He loves.