Monday, January 17, 2011

The Power of Words

"A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day" Emily Dickinson

That is one of my Mother's favorite quotes. She would often recite it to us, to help us understand the power of words, ours and those of other people. Words. They have power. Today is a Holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and it seems appropriate that this is the day I feel compelled to write about the power of our words. Certainly Dr. King lives on, in part by the power of words.

I was watching Maya Angelou recently and I was reminded of how beautifully she uses written and spoken words. Her poetry, her story, it is all about the power of words, and she is a master. As I discussed this today with a dear friend, we were talking about the work of Dr. Masuru Emoto, the Japanese author and scientist who has studied the effects of words, written and spoken upon water. In a nutshell, he has taken samples of water and frozen them, shaved off slivers of the ice and looked at them under a microscope to see the crystal patterns in the water. He has samples from all over the world. Different waters display different crystals. That's interesting, but there's more. If the water has been prayed over, or stored in a container with a word on it, a different crystal forms. If a "beautiful" word is used, like Love, Forgiveness, Peace, the crystals are beautiful snowflake like patterns. If an "ugly" word is used, the crystals are fractured and messy. Okay, fine, that's all well and good, but if you begin to think that as human beings we are made up of 80% or so water, then 80% of your body is affected by the words that are being thought and spoken around you, perhaps that is something worth monitoring. Maybe his work is actual proof of the impact of words {if you are interested in learning more about Dr. Emoto's work, I encourage you to read any of his books, "The Message in Water" for one, or his most recent book, "Love Thyself, The Message in Water"}.

Last night my daughter and I witnessed a woman get angry and frustrated with a server at a restaurant. The manager came over, and after repeatedly trying to soothe the woman, finally, he offered her some compensation. Until she left he continued to try to soothe her. Finally this grown man said to her, "I feel so bad. I want to just go crawl in the bushes over there". I think he was reflecting to her just how badly her words were making him feel. Let me say the service was terrible, but for us it was a good night. Of course we did wait a LOOOONG time for dinner, just as our neighbor had. Actually, it was as though were were having two different experiences. We were having a pleasant mother and daughter bonding time and our neighbor was seething. We didn't complain to the manager, we didn't complain to the server, we smiled and made conversation about how busy they were and how challenging that can be. I don't know what they gave to the woman who was so unhappy, but they gave us a free dinner. We had a wonderfully relaxing, enjoyable evening and were tickled by the bonus of a free dinner. The words of the manager, wanting to crawl into the bushes, and the crumpled face of our server, as she nearly cried from the stress continue to remind me of the power of words. I am not judging or faulting the unhappy diner next to us. I think we have all been in her shoes, and I confess, I have even gotten angry with someone who was just doing their job. I can't change that. What I can do, is weild the power of words responsibly, lovingly even. So how do you want to weild the power of words? What if we are not talking about a restaurant, but at our own home with those we love? What do we want our legacy to be?

Let's begin to pay closer attention to our words. If you catch yourself using words in a negative way, complaining or grumbling you can undo it. Replace the thought or word with a new one, a better one. It is a step in the right direction of making the world a better place, one word at a time. One moment at a time. From the inside out, beginning with you and me. In our hearts, in our minds and coming out of our mouths. Let's spread the, peace, grace, gratitude, joy... you get the idea.

Oh, and let me know how it goes! I would love to hear!

Thank you for reading! I am great-full for you!

Sending you Love and Blessings, Kim

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