Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.
Sigmund Freud, The Educator’s Book
The word “power” carries different meanings in different contexts,yet they all have the underlying ability to have some kind of influence .Power manifests in different shapes and forms. The one we all recognize and use or abuse is the power of words. Sigmund Freud in the Educator’s book talked about how our words can have an immense impact on our lives and others. They can help, heal, harm or humiliate. If you take a tour down memory lane, regardless of your age, or the number of experiences you have been through, you will never forget your school days, those times when a teacher, praised you in front of the whole class for getting a good grade on an exam, or giving the correct answer to a question. You probably have a very fuzzy memory of your classmates, or what your teachers looked like, but there is one thing that carries with you through life, and that is the words of praise and encouragement that keep you going until that day.
It seems that with every new generation, words are losing their sacrednes. people are paying less and less attention to what they say and how it affects others. Some even go as far as abusing the power of language to advertently hurt another. We have all heard of a boss emotionally traumatizing his employees, a parent ignorantly abusing the power of words for what he/she thinks is the best way to raise a child, a toxic side in a relationship using his/her words to manipulate the other, and many more forms where words have the upper, mighty hand.
How are we using such powerful weapon so carelessly? How is that some people are so merciless, and cold-hearted that they give themselves the right to toy with people’s emotions for personal gain? The same people who recall every emotional scar they have ever been afflicted with, who spend years and years trying to get over a hurtful word someone said jokingly, a traumatizing job experience, or a messy breakup. They, surprisingly, turn around and do it to others. They are so selfish, and so blinded by their own desire for revenge, that it becomes so easy and so justifiable to scar others.
Why are nice, kind words getting so scarce in relationships? Why do we feel amazed when we meet a genuinely amiable person? Why do we quickly jump to judge gentleness as fake? It seems that bullying and cyberbullying have become the new trend. Instead of bringing people closer, social media has lost its original purpose, turning into a battlefield, where survival is for the cruelest. People are using their keyboards and distorted personalities as weapons for destruction, attacking each other with harsh, and wounding comments,creating posts that are based on no facts other than what they carry within their hateful,dark self, where they stereotype and profile others, sometimes just for laughs and an ego-boosting number of views, comments and shares. Do those people ever stop and think how their words could cause psychological pain for one, and suicide for another?
We are turning into real-life monsters, not the kind you read about in fantasy stories, where in many cases, those monsters are squashed by the end of the book. They are the kind that you see, talk to, work with, and take as a partner.
George Orwell wrote in his novel 1984 portrayed the psychological control of the public using the power of language. He showed how governments can abuse language to politically manipulate people’s minds. No wonder politicians, leaders and thinkers across time know the power their words hold. A carefully curated speech is worth a thousand weapons. It can move people. It can shape the destiny of a whole nation. It can make actions happen.
If we have learned anything from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it is how the power of words can move a person, how it can make them go against their nature and do unnatural deeds. It is through the power of her venomous tongue, that Lady Macbeth was able to play her husband to go against his gentle nature and kill the king of Scotland, we see in the play referring to him as a valiant cousin and a worthy gentleman. Macbeth let his mind fall under the poison of his wife’s words until he ultimately lost his mind, and got killed.
Words are invisible weapons. They shatter dreams, or build them. Uplift a soul or tear it down. Words carry more than sounds and meaning, they carry power. One kind word can make someone’s day. Choose your words carefully. Think before you speak.