“Words can launch us.” ~ Bob Goff
It was 📸picture day of my fifth-grade year. I chose the perfect 👚top for my school photo. I also slept in those pink foam rollers to give my stick-straight hair a few curls that were sure to be gone by lunchtime. I pulled the front back with a gold clip in the shape of a 💛heart. I felt good about myself- until one word ruined it.
A boy that I thought was 😍cute told me that I looked pretty. Then, he took a long pause and finished with the word “ugly.” I looked pretty…ugly. 😞The other kids laughed. I laughed, too, because that’s what you do. You cover up the feeling of that verbal punch with laughter. I’m sure that no one in the crowd remembered that moment by 🍴dinner time. I remember it now, and I’m in my fifties.😬
I believe that words have power. I select my written words to think deeper and examine other angles. I try to give traction to words that might transform areas of my life. Let’s consider the opposite, though. Is there a point where words are just that- words? 😳When the power is gone, and they’re just empty sounds? 😮Stick with me here.
I have 👕t-shirts hanging in my closet with words like Live 😀Happy and Be Kind. I wear a bracelet that says Choose Joy. There’s a poster in my classroom that reads 💖LOVE. Do those words hold power to create change? Or are they just a string of letters that sound pretty?
Ken and I were talking about this the other day. Think about people like me who spout kindness and 💞empathy and 💖love. Is there a point where those same words just become 🙉noise? Kind of like the whole ‘been there, done that’ idea. Those sorts of words are supposed to mean something. I believe that they do- at least for a while. But- do those same words eventually lose the ability to grab us and push us into lives of meaning and purpose?
Let’s take the example of the boy who used words to make his friends😂 laugh at my expense. I think the power of those words came from the intent. I’m not sure if he thought I was pretty ugly or not. He just knew those words were funny and that they might sound cool. If there’s no intention behind the words, then they are simply 🙉noise. Something to fill the space. Something that changes nothing, affects nothing—something with no power.❌
What happens when the power of our words is gone? How do we act and react when the meanings of 🌺goodness and 🌼respect and 🌸decency are gone? Here’s a scarier question- is that what we’re seeing in the world now? 😱 Are the ugly words used simply for shock value, or is there more to it? Have words like kindness and 💖love and joy become slogans on t-shirts rather than motives for lives well lived?
It gets back to the intentions behind the words, I think. The ✨goals. The ✨objectives. If we want our words to mean something, we have to make them more than 🙉noise. What if…we turn our words into actions? Choose them wisely, my friends. When they are combined with intentions, our words hold tremendous power. 💖Let’s also choose to use them for good.