Words by Lois Hewitt

Words, they can comfort, encourage, teach, show love and caring. One kind word can overcome a hundred harsh words. Words can change a life.

I love words. I love to put them together in all kinds of ways. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But I love them just the same.

I once had someone in my life that used words to control me and belittle me. Those words stayed with me for years. I used to be careless in my own use of words as I did not know the power they held. Thoughtless words thrown about carelessly can do as much damage as a physical attack on someone…perhaps even with more lasting damage.

As I grew older and started to write more as a way to heal myself, I learned the value of words as well as the value when not to use any. That last lesson took a lot longer to learn. Words, to me now, are sacred. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be pompous. My vocabulary today is still not as developed as I would like and is heavily peppered with profanity. Very Oscar Wilde!

I am saddened by the lack of reverence for words and the effect they can have on others. I understand fully how easy it is to use degrading and hurtful words from behind the curtain of anonimity. The words I read, not even directed at me personally, on line shocks even my sensibilities.

I do not remember much of my years in high school. Pot fog, regret and bad memories have erased those years. I do remember my English teacher from high school (I never mention anyone without their consent so that is why I have not named her). She was a beautiful woman. How I envied her beauty and grace. She introduced me to reading and, ultimately, started my love affair with words.

It has gotten so easy to just blurt out anything that pops into our heads. I used to be the biggest offender of that verbal crime. Now I see the errors of my way.

One of my favorites lines in the show Longmire is when Vic turns to Walt and asks Whatcha doing? Walt hesitates for a moment and says “Thinking. I do that sometimes before I speak.” I hope I wrote that correctly. But you get the idea. It was brilliant and how I gauge my speech now.

Today’s world moves so fast and if you tend to contemplate your words too long you may not get a chance to speak at all. That’s why I love to write. I can say my peace and you can read it or not at your leisure. What a beautiful thing.

I hope there is a shift back to pausing before words are used. I hope that more thought goes into their execution and considerations are made for the end results of words used. Then a shift in the nastiness will be made.

As we get used to a slight lowering of verbal expectations, let’s push back a little bit and remember how powerful the written and spoken words are. They truly carry with them an ultimate power that should not be misused. We take for granted the power of an automobile and the damage it can do if it is not properly respected. The same with words. They can be a blessing or a curse. How will you use yours?

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