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The power of the written word

It was brought to my attention recently about the power of the written word. Some people think it no longer has power, but that is far from the truth. A paragraph or article can easily be construed wrong depending on who reads it. In all this time of political strife and rhetoric, a party's ability to cause a group (or groups) to rally to their cause has never been more evident as seen in our world today.




The written word be used to incite violence or create calm. In these times it is more important than ever that our leaders or those who are looked to for guidance be very careful in their comments since it can be taken by both those who follow in reverence and those who oppose. I hope these world changers think carefully about how they speak, write, or tweet. I do not say this in opposition of free speech, now more than ever it is critical that the truth gets out, but even those truths can be set-up with fire to invoke violence instead of inquiry. A world leader's fiery words to another can incite a war. Politicians' comments about culture can easily be taken as racism and cause civil strife, or an expert's opinion can easily be used by both sides of the debate and cause mistrust of the facts. One must be very careful.


I thought I had learned over the years to be careful about how something is written, but I make mistakes too, and something I wrote recently was taken wrong and created hurt from that person who read it to which I apologized profusely. I know in speech when one is responding in defense that it is easy to respond before thinking through your response in anger and then have regret. That is why you see a good politician pause before answering as they review their thoughts before responding. They are thinking about what they might say and how it could be construed by the press, both good and bad. Now some have no filter, and just say what comes to mind and deal with the consequences. Many have lost arguments or elections over such fast responses.


Throughout history, the power of the written word has educated, enlightened, incited, calmed, and entertained. Its power is great and its reach unlimited. So be careful with what you write, it may come back to haunt you or hurt someone who is special to you. Think about its power. Do not take it lightly. Today's culture online allows people to make comments without consequences to themselves as they do it as an unknown. The world of social media has created that monster and it will not be going away any time soon. Now we must educate or regulate those who would use it to harm, and encourage those who use it to enlighten, educate, or entertain (the three E's I call it).


So get out and write people! Spread your word and enlighten the world. Make us laugh, cry, or be surprised. Just think before you put pen to paper.





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