Can anyone truly comprehend the awesome influence contained in words? They assist in conveying to others mundane, everyday information such as schedules, lunch orders, directions, descriptions, commands, wishes and a myriad of other thoughts needed to conduct business and the activities of daily living.
They entertain us, inform us and tell us what is happening on the other side of the planet at any given moment. However, a news story released at the wrong moment or with information not duly verified can be disastrous. Stock markets can crash. Businesses can be bankrupted in a single afternoon. Transactions ranging from giant corporation mergers to the closing of a single family home can fall through. Peopleís lives can be brought to the brink of ruin.
Misinformation can cause the tensions between nations to escalate to terribly dangerous, potentially warlike conditions, as evidenced in the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 1960ís.
Interpersonally, whether written, spoken or hidden in song, the words chosen to communicate thought and meaning to another can encourage or devastate. Like a two edged sword, words can serve to heal or kill a spirit; they can soothe or bring torture to another whose soul is their target and once released, can never be completely rescinded no matter how much the sender wishes it.
Iím sure all of us can remember at least one humiliating, elementary school playground taunt directed our way. Itís amazing how those silly, childish insults are so easily recalled verbatim, even thirty or forty years later. How powerful a simple collection of letters can be!
Not too long ago, someone I cherished and truly thought was a genuine friend suddenly switched, within the space of about two hours, from relating to me with sincere attention and friendly affection to anger, insults and the demand that all communication cease. The result has been mind bending to say the least, not to mention, fantastically hurtful to my heart.
The different conversations we shared over several months still play in my head like synaptic recordings. I would give just about anything to be able to emotionally walk away unscathed and I imagine thereís a large segment of the population who are able to do just that. Then, there are the ultra-sensitive, easily mangled souls like myself who carry the pain forever, trying to make sense of the nonsensical.
I donít know if this individual will ever read this, and if they do, if they would even care what damage theyíve caused. All I can do is try to encourage my readers to think very carefully before they speak. Remember, you literally have the power to build or destroy.
Read more articles by Donna Wasson or search for articles on the same topic or others.