Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words are Everlasting
By Nicole Cobar
Words are a double-ended sword. The things we say have the power to impact people in ways we probably do not consider before we speak. With one sentence, you could destroy someone’s dreams, ruin their spirits, and break their heart. But words also gives us the power to lift someone to new heights, inspiring a new way of life, planting new beliefs, or igniting new passions. The power of words is indescribable. Even words themselves cannot convey their own impact.
You have to think about words. Everytime you open your mouth, you have to think about what you say, making each statement personal and extremely impactful. Words are unmistakable. That is why in courts of law, written or verbal testimonies, documents with clear writing, and conversations are used as evidence. Words have the power to put someone away in prison or have them feel the wrath of capital execution. A false accusation can ruin someone’s life. Countries with rulers who want to impose an ideology onto their people will often restrict freedom of speech because words give people power.
Just as negative words can cause a great deal of grief, I think positive words can make someone happy. Compliments, sincere thank yous, and heartfelt statements can communicate gratitude and appreciation in ways not even a hug can.
Although we are not consciously aware, we do know the impact of words. Whenever we get insulted, belittled, or betrayed, we understand how words hurt. When we get complimented, or told, “Good job,” we know how words can make us feel good. So, with this understanding, why don’t we all try to use words responsibly? Why do some of us still feel the need to spread rumors, twist words, lie, and generally miscommunicate?
The danger of words is how easy it is to abuse and misuse them. Someone you just met tells you that they love you, despite the fact that you two have known each other for only three hours previously. You tell your sibling that you hate them because they left the door to your bedroom open, even though your sibling is your favorite person on the planet and you could not imagine life without them. It is easy to lie, to use hyperbole, and to use words without considering what you are saying.
Words can get a bad reputation, but only because of how we are using them. Collectively, we are too careless with how we speak. I believe that words are the most powerful object in humanity’s toolbox. However, we do not treat them accordingly. So much of our day to day pain could be solved if we all stopped to think before we speak. In order for all of us to live happier, drama-free lives, we all need to become better communicators. We need to learn how to use our words wisely, how to be truthful in what we say, and how to mean everything we say. Honesty, transparency, and integrity are what we all should aspire to speak with. With just these three things, we could all live happier lives, knowing that what you said was understood.