• Rev. Karen Epps

The Power of Words

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

Do you remember the childhood rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”? It was a taunt intended to escape the sting from something hurtful another person said or wrote. I wonder though if it really worked. What is it about words that can evoke such an array of feelings and responses? Some words slip by unnoticed, while others get caught in the mesh of the mind and refuse to let go. Why is that? (Put a pin in this question – I’ll come back to it in a minute)

The other day, I received a forwarded email from a friend. It was titled “The Power of Words” and included this link http://www.wimp.com/powerwords/. I really want to share this with you, so please watch the clip before reading further.

Welcome back (smile). Now, I understand this is a staged production intended to convey a particular message. I don’t know about you but for me, it worked. I felt the difference between the ideas from the first to the second set of words. Why is that?

Let’s consider the video. The first sign stated a fact. But it is a fact many people cannot relate to. They cannot imagine (or see) themselves in this way. As such, the words slip by unnoticed or ignored. The second sign also stated a fact. However, this time the words were given in a way that evoked a feeling.

Ok, let’s pull that pin. Words are one way that we make meaning about others, our world, and ourselves. I believe the reason some words slip by and others stick is because the words that stick makes a connection with which one can identify. In the case of the video the connection made related to loss. We identify and in that identification are compelled to respond.

I appreciated receiving my friend’s email because I was reminded about the importance of mindfulness in my words (whether written or spoken) and the gift we all have to make a difference in our lives or another’s.

Love, Rev. K

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