Words: The Price They Pay

We have the power to create or destroy. You choose with what you speak.

Learning the Importance of Words

From a young age, I realized the potential words had. I grew up swallowing books (not literally, although that would be something) and the impact they had on my life was metamorphic. I began craving the words that would transport me to worlds with dragons and magic; not to mention the adventures that had me heavy breathing, eyes-gulping-down-the-words, begging for the antagonist to live another day.

I simply couldn’t get enough. Reading was anything I could ever ask for. But then, one day a thought weaseled its way into my mind: what if I was the one captivating others with my words? What if I could enrapture someone’s mind so deeply that they simply couldn’t get enough?

So I did it, I began my writing journey. Started out pretty rough since I would start writing and obsess way too much over the grammar and flow of the words rather than getting my point across, but eventually, I let go of all the rules and just wrote.

Words became my best friends, they held my hand from the rocky start all the way to a professional writing degree in college. Even now into my post-college state, words stand by my side like an old friend.

I cherish words. And, above all, I cherish the change they hold, the meaning that comes from them which resonates so deeply within us. Without words, we would have no communication. Without words, humans would be unable to connect with each other. Unable to share the emotions that threaten to drown us. Unable to share the love and pain that make us who we are. Without communication, we would have nothing that we do right now.

Words Can Destroy

Today, words have become weapons, sharpened to cut, slice, and carve people apart. Insults, blame, accusations. We thrive on the drama that has changed our world into a reality TV show. Everywhere you look, TV, social media, news sites, blogs, YouTube, hell even the grocery store have become arenas for the juiciest fights on who can throw the insult that hits the hardest.

I’m not even referring to the actual fights that sometimes break out from these word games. Viral videos are popping up everywhere with high schoolers throwing punches or grown men tackling one another. It never ends, and our advertised lives are hit news.

People are quick to take sides on who was right and who was wrong, debating over reasons that truly have nothing to do with them. These debates lead to more feuds, which results in the internet taking over the fight where people draw it out and bicker with each other because they feel their opinion is somehow definitive.

There used to be an old saying that went, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Why have we lost this golden rule? Why does our world love to tear each other apart?

Words Can Create

Recently, I was on Reddit and I came across a post asking for opinions on non-binary people. I immediately thought to myself: what a disaster this post is going to create. After reading a few of the comments, I was genuinely surprised at how diplomatic and respectful the responses were. Yes, many of the commenters disagreed with each other, but they were disagreeing in a way that said, “I understand what you’re saying, however, I view it this way.” It was understanding, and it was beautiful.

It made my Thursday morning that much brighter because I realized that there are people who can come to terms with opinions different than their own. They don’t hold a steel-toed boot over the other person’s head and wait for them to crack under the pressure.

These few Redditors changed my perspective on the world I thought to be so bloodthirsty. Once again, words opened me up to the possibility of a kinder world.

The thought stuck with me all throughout the day. The sudden realization of how powerful words are had me rethinking everything I said. Each word held a heavier weight than it ever had to me before because I understood how our lives are essentially comprised of words.

Choose Your Words Carefully

These seemingly insignificant combinations of characters can make or break us. With the right diction, words help us to land our dream job, to smooth talk a future spouse, to lift someone struggling to stay afloat. Unfortunately, they can also destroy with the wrong diction, which can lead to an estranged sibling, a breakup, a lost friendship. Words can help us build strong relationships or tear them down.

We use words for everything, and we don’t even realize the sheer importance of them. That’s why taking the time to think about what we say is so vital to obtaining a happy life.

We choose our fate with the words we speak, and we pay the price.

Writer. Avid reader. Stay-at-home astronaut. Prone to be obsessive when I really like something.

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