The Miracle of Words
Your words have more power than you will ever begin to comprehend. Your words can create light, and they can also create darkness. Your worlds, if sewn in fertile ground, can produce incredible harvests, and they can also ruin a perfectly good harvest. Your words can enable people to dream, or they can tear someones dreams apart. Your words have the power to give life, and they have the power to take life. Most of us don't realize just how important words are, and as a result we are casual with our word. If we truly knew what effect our words were having then we would be much more careful and considerate with the way that we use them.
Every time you speak you are sewing a seed, and based on the words you speak this seed will either grow to bear beautiful fruits, or it will grow to be a weed and a disease in the mind. Let me give you two contrasting examples of how powerful this seed can be. World War II and the Holocaust was not merely a war, but rather it was a disease of the mind, spread by the terrible words that were sewn by Hitler into the minds of those who he influenced. The most horrifying atrocities were committed in that war, but it all began with words that had the power to hypnotize an entire nation, and that would eventually lead to a mass genocide.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the civil rights movement in the United States would never have started if it had not been for the powerful words sewn by all of the leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr, who spread their word across the nation. Who could forget those powerful words that have been burned into history, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Just reading these words still gives power to the soul.
Remember that your words have the power to leave a legacy. Think of the people who have empowered nations, and the people who have changed the world. The greatest legacy that they left, and the reason that we are able to remember the power that they possessed, is through the words that they spoke. Carefully chosen words can transcend generations in the form of books, speeches, conversations, writings, and quotes. Quotes are nothing more than a collection of words, but because they are formed in a way that is intelligent and considered, they have the power to change peoples lives. Your words could change peoples lives, and leave a legacy, if you would be considerate and calculated with the way that you spoke.
Do you know what school is? School is not just a period of learning, but rather it is a journey from darkness into the light. With every new class the student is able to see the world in a new way, and to see his or her life through a new lens. This is all made possible with words. Have you ever heard someone say "I was blind, but now you've made me see!"? Your words, if sewn correctly, can have the power to take people out of darkness and into the light. When you share your own unique perspective, or a powerful idea, you can completely change the course of someones life, and you can help them to see a completely new world.
This happened for me on my 20th birthday when I attended a seminar with my best friend. The speaker said three words that stuck with me, and completely changed the direction of my life. Those three words were "Information changes situations." How can three words change a persons life? Well before that day I had read one book in my whole life. But those words took me out of the darkness and showed me that if I wanted to change my life then I would need to learn new information. From that day I became obsessed with reading, and over the next year of my life I read over 80 books. That all began with well calculated words sewn into fertile ground. I was blind, and those words made me see.
As we grew up our mind was fed with all kinds of words. We listened to our parents, our siblings, our teachers, our friends, our church leaders, and our elders, and all of these people were feeding us words that would become our world view. Because of this, what we believe is not really ours to keep. What we believe is only being borrowed from those who taught us growing up, and every intelligent person must some day decide that he will no longer borrow his beliefs from other people, and that he will now formulate his own beliefs so that his words are a reflection of himself, and not a reflection of other people. So what you must learn to do is to dissect your own beliefs and decide what is worth keeping and what is worth throwing away. Some of the things that we were taught growing up are pure and worthy of keeping. Think of the values that were instilled in you that are worthy, like kindness, love, determination, forgiveness, and charity. These are all positive things that we should keep, but we must also throw away the negative weeds that were planted in our minds by people speaking words that were discriminatory, intolerant, self-hating, unkind, and negative.
Think of your own self-talk. If you talked to your friends in the way that you spoke to yourself, would they be your friends anymore? The way that you speak to yourself is a major determining factor in the way that your life will turn out, and the negative things that you say to and about yourself all stem from the people who planted negative words in your mind. "You're dumb." "You can't do that." "Why don't you give up on that for now?" "Why would you want to do that?" "You don't have the right body for that." These are all examples of words that have the power to completely ruin a persons life.
A perfect example of a person who was able to move beyond these negative words of the past is Kristie Reeves, a guest who I had on my podcast, "Searching For Good." Kristie was told by her ballet instructor that she didn't have the right body for professional ballet, and that she should stick to a career of teaching. These words had a powerful effect on her life and for many years she lived with that story in her mind, and she genuinely believed that she couldn't achieve that lifelong goal of becoming a professional dancer. Then one day she woke up and realized that she was not living her own life, but that she was living the life of her ballet instructor. This was not her truth, but it was her instructors truth. Once Kristie realized this she immediately began looking for opportunities to live out her dream, and within a short amount of time she was dancing in a major production in New York City; a goal that she had wanted to achieve since she was a child. Imagine how much sooner she could have achieved this goal if her instructor had chosen to use words that would lift Kristie up, as opposed to pushing her down.
Words are powerful, and you need to be intelligent enough to love yourself and to speak kindly to yourself, because in the end you are the one who gets to decide who you will listen to and who you will shut off. You don't have to believe the lies that you've been told about yourself. You're a miracle, and the potential that you possess is greater than you can ever comprehend.
I want to encourage you to take your words seriously, and to make words an important study in your life. Develop your vocabulary, for each new word brings with it a new way to see the world, and a new opportunity to lift and inspire other people. Be careful with the things you say to others, for they truly have the power to change the course of history. Be intelligent with the words that you decide to listen to, for each conversation is either a flower or a weed to your mind. Be careful about the way that you speak to yourself, for this internal dialogue determines your direction in life. You have the power to leave a legacy. You have the potential to be a person who lifts other people up. You can inspire others, and help people to leave the darkness and enter the light. You can be the reason why someone is able to live out their dreams and desires, and it all begins with your words.