Saturday, November 12, 2011

Words Have Power

Words are poweful. I've always known that, but over the past year as I've been researching words, I've had that reinforced to me over and over and over. Just yesterday I was re-reading a book I first read years ago. The book contains interviews by Bill Moyers with poets, and of all people poets know the power of words.

One of the poets interviews is James A. Autry and he stands out from the rest because of his unique situation. A lot of today's poets seem to have come out of the hippie movement--and I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean that in they are concerned and are free-spirited and set themselves apart from modern culture. But Autry is a successful businessman, the "corporate" poet.

In his interview with Moyers Autry condemns the sports and battle metaphors that are used in business language. He explains that when "you think of yourself as a winner, you must think of osmeone else as a loser, and that makes the whole thing a zero sum game."

And then there is the part of the interview I love best. Moyers asks, "So you believe we take on the qualitites of the elanguage we use?" And Autry answers, "Yes."

To that I say a loud, "Amen." The way we speak shapes what we are. You can argue the old chicken and the egg thing here about which comes first--the way we are or the language we use. But at this point it doesn't matter how we got to be the way we are. What matters is how we grow to be something more than what we now are. And changing the way we speak is one of the most powerful ways to change what we are.

Words have power and when we use positive, uplifting, encouraging, kind, loving words we take on thsoe characteristics.

1 comment:

Wendi said...

I needed to read this today. Thanks! :)