The Power of Words

Reading quotes, poems and literary passages aids in framing words around emotions for comfort, insight, and inspiration as well as to simply acknowledge a state of being, positively or negatively.

I read an article posted to LinkedIn earlier in the year by Nancy McGaw of the Business and Society Program at The Aspen Institute about ‘the aspiration to be a better person’ topping the list of top resolutions for 2017. In this article she was citing a list of the top resolutions compiled by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. McGaw’s suggestion to becoming a better person was to read poetry. She states, “And just as poetry helps us look inward, it often takes us beyond ourselves and calls us to look at our shared humanity.” I wholeheartedly believe this to be true.

I read quotes, poems and literary passages to express thoughts. However, it’s not only about grasping for words for my own use, but also to share with family members, friends, work colleagues and sometimes even strangers. I’m known for leaving a few words beyond my signature with the folio when paying my bill after dining out and for adding a few lines of gratitude when tipping housekeeping staff when I travel. I think it is important to let others know that they made a difference in your experience.

The quote I share most often with young people to convey the power that words can have on society comes from Lord Byron.

"But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."  Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron)

My ‘strings’ are a collection of quotable phrases that are narrative and dramatic in their relay, but without structure. As such, I’m placing a great deal of trust in the story and direct language of each string of prose to capture a moment in time for the reader.  When asked to characterize the work in Volume 1 my direct response is narrative discourse, but I shimmy around it also being expository in explaining and descriptive in attempting to paint a picture. Life is not boxed in a nice, neat package so in my frame of reference it shouldn’t be written that way.

It is my hope that readers will use Word Strings to wrap words around life events. I also want them to insert them when finding the right words to say is important, no matter the occasion. And I most certainly encourage them to post and share them when it makes a difference, whether that’s on a refrigerator door, in daily email messages, inside greeting cards, in letters to friends, at a wake, for celebrating another year of life, or in making social media posts.