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The Power Of Words

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“A drop of ink may make a million think.”
-
George Gordon Byron

Words are a miraculous medium. They can bring those mountains of thoughts from inside our heads to outside. Words can break hearts; words can shape lives. Words have the power to topple kings and governments. If put together with skill, words can help one earn a living. It is said that a word is like a living organism, capable of growing, changing, spreading and influencing the world in many ways. Why else would we still be saying and writing words spoken hundreds and thousands of years ago by wise people?

The most amazing aspect of words is seen in religions. Most religions have spread and lived mainly through the medium of words. Islam, the fastest spreading religion of the world, is also the one of the only religions with no imagery involved at all. It is almost miraculous how it has spread to seven million people and yet is solely based on the words of a holy scripture and the words of the holy Prophet (PBUH).

But words are not always so blessed. There are single syllable words that have the power to kill thousands. Like when a commander says “Fire!” during a battle, it never goes without creating a stain on the world. Generally used, words like this can do little more than create a little vibration in the air, a slight disturbance among particles. But in special conditions, these very words can leave gaping holes on the face of earth; the holes of disembodied souls and splattered blood. The two words said by George W. Bush to his war council, “Let’s go” are historically famous for starting America’s war on Iraq. Another example would be the words said by Gaddafi, “We can crush any enemy,” which many consider as the cause of the casualties surrounding his nation.

Then there are misunderstood and misinterpreted words. These can cause simple dilemmas like passing the wrong dish during dinner or saying a wrong answer in class, to more serious things like breaking of age-old friendships or creating enmities. It is said in the movie The Interpreter that countries often go to war just because they misunderstand each other.

There is a saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This is no longer so true. We all have been hurt by words sometime or other, be it insults from friends or criticism from a teacher. You might think, what big harm could a sentence or phrase do, after all actions speak louder than words. But we live in such a time when actions truly become powerful only when they are spoken or written about.

It is amusing how textual pictures have suddenly become so famous across the internet. Simple sayings, sometimes seemingly stupid or worthless, spread like wildfire on facebook and other social sites. Phrases like “The awkward moment”, “Epic fail”, “True story” etc. have created impressions on millions of minds deeper than pictures or ideas. Yes, these are nothing of importance, but nevertheless they have changed the world. That is the power of words.



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