As it would turn out, I’m not the most talented person on this planet. I’m not one of those lucky people who can do crafts; I have not ability for painting or drawing. I used to play the flute but that wasn’t really my forte either, though I loved it. No, I’m just really rather average.
There is one thing I’m fairly good at… that’s my use of words. I’m not as good as I want to be but that’s part of the purpose of this blog… to get better. I’ve always believed in the power of words but it’s only become stronger now as I work in a word related field. I spend all day with words – looking for the right connection, looking to make sure they make sense to the ready, that I’m communicating correctly what it is that I want to communicate.
People constantly overlook the power of words. They are always saying that the “N”-word is just a word. Okay if that’s true then why do you use THAT word? Why not use something else then? If you’re using THAT word, you’re using it because you know it will get under someone’s skin… therefore, it’s not JUST a word. It’s use is for the purpose of being offensive so it’s also almost as offensive to claim it’s only a word when it’s clearly not. This goes for any hate words that people chose to use. There are lots of other words to describe people or insult them with, hate words are used for a reason as much as people love to deny it.
Words can often be misinterpreted. Why do you suppose there’s frequently miscommunication between people? Part of that is because certain words, while generally a single definition is used for any given word, people put a slight spin on them. Different words are used for different things so people can have a different idea of what is meant by a word. For instance, a friend of mine and I had a bit of a run in because I used the word “incarnate” to describe something that was meant to be nice but for her, it triggered her to use the word “creepy.” First, to be fair, I should have used a different word though incarnate did work for what I was trying to say but when she called what I was saying creepy, it offended me. I felt like she was calling me creepy. We had to have a bit of a discussion on this. Once I realized that the word incarnate simply triggers a certain image in her mind, I could understand why she thought it was creepy. I also explained to her that in that instance creepy was a bit harsh for the situation and we finally got on the same page. This type of thing happens all the time. It’s not that the definition of the word is warped, it’s just about a person’s own vocabulary and how and when certain words are used.
I’m thankful that for the most part, I do pretty well with my words. Part of doing well with words is being able to listen. I’m not the best listener, but I’m pretty good. When I’m tired that skill seems to slip some (hence part of my being thankful for sleep last night). I’m grateful that I have at least this much talent because words are powerful. Imagine what can be done with the right words?
Yesterday was an important anniversary… the anniversary of the day Kennedy was shot. President John F. Kennedy is one of those folks who was really great with his words. There are many things he said people remember. He’s most remembered for saying “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” He, along with many others like Martin Luther King, Jr., and more, were able to inspire and move people into taking even small actions. Words are powerful.
I’m grateful that I have my words. It’s allowed me to communicate with people in a way that not all can do. I’m grateful that I’m good enough with stringing the right words together that I get paid for it; that I’m able to strengthen my friendships because of it. I’m not perfect… as I already pointed out, sometimes I have the occasional misstep like anyone else. I’m just grateful that I have enough command of words that I can also get myself out of a mess too. It certainly helps.