Friday, October 14, 2016

Just Words

"It's just words," the Donald said, dismissing the power that "just words" have played in history.  The Magna Carta was just words, as were the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. "Just words" have the power to strengthen hearts, change minds, and open eyes to social and political injustice.  "Just words" have moved nations, crystalized political parties, and shamed demagogues, and exposed criminals. They have also been used to curtail criticism, stifle opposition, and promulgate damaging falsehoods.

But words have also been used to gladden souls through soaring literary prose that removes  us from the daily fray. Words have revealed the best and worst of humanity, showing its failures and foibles in dramatic, comedic, and tragic form. "Just words" have presented us with aspirational hope as well as forced us to face gritty reality. They've opened the mind's eyes to awesome vistas and the mind itself to brave, as well as horrifying, concepts.

"Just words" are all we have to convey our thoughts and feelings to one another, for none of us can  discern their unspoken thoughts or emotions and must rely upon words, words, and words using the imperfect tool of language. Words have the power to convey love and hate, happiness and sorrow, compassion and indifference. "Just words" can also expose who we really are.

There are no such things as "Just words."


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