Words Are Things

“Words Are Things! I am convinced. You must be careful about the words you use or the words you allow to be used in your house…Words are Things and you must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names…Someday we will be able to measure the power of words…I think they are things, I think they get on the walls, they get in your wallpaper, they get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally into you!” Dr. Maya Angelou

Most of us probably would not have given the title of this blog much “thought” had there not have been the recent shootings in Arizona where the congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford was one of the injured and among other injuries that were fatal. There has been much talk about the power of words and how the different parties, democrat and republican, to include the so-called Tea Party, the Christian church, you and me and others have incited people to speak, to act and to behave in ways that we would consider unbecoming. But who would have thought that “Words Are Things”?

Well, this evening, it just so “happened” that I was again watching this interview entitled, “Oprah Presents Master Class”. This particular presentation was on the great Dr. Maya Angelou where I again heard her make the above statement. I offer the following preface; Dr. Angelou spoke so utterly well that there are books yet to be written just on that one hour interview. There is so much more to come in my blogging just on this one particular interview alone. This interview was chalked full of lessons, history, ideas and ideals! Maya is someone whom I could sit at her feet and listen to her speech all day – and I do mean all day and all I would need is for my coffee cup to be refreshed every now and again…smiles. When Dr. Angelou stated that “Words Are Things”, I had already been marinating in her life’s lessons and history, ideas and ideals from the start of the interview, so immediately I understood what she had said. It was as if I could have sliced that statement with a butter knife. I recall once, a cousin whom called his much younger brother a sissy. No, no, this is a true story. There were adults around and instantaneously I responded “…don’t say that to him, he might believe it!” You see, I then understood the sheer “power” of words, but I do not know if I understood them to be “Things”. There was an ole’ saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” Oh, but my friends, this is so untrue. Words Are Things and they do hurt. This is quite often fatally true for too many. You see, all of the ancient masters, too many to name here, understood this to be true. The Book speaks of how God spoke this and that and this and that Became. I know, I know, just stay with! You see, you cannot tell me that if you were to tell a pretty little girl that she is ugly and you feed those ugly “words” to her over and over that it moves from your mouth to the walls, to the wallpaper, to the carpet, the upholstery, her clothes and then into her. The little girl, although pretty will come to believe that she is ugly and begin to behave in ugly ways. Therefore, we simply must understand powerful words like “Good morning” or “Good Day”. These words can and will be the words that create just that – A Good Morning or a Good Day for someone. Yes, my friend, Words Are ThingsPeriod, Case-Closed!

A Commitment to Your Reality

“The degree to which you are committed to your reality equals the degree to which people will respect you!” – Barry Hamdani

This was a quote, by my uncle Barry.  When speaking with him, I am very much like a student or a sponge.  He is such an intellectual and I can listen to him speak as long as there are hours in the day.  When we are speaking via phone, I try to have a pen and pad near, as Uncle Barry tends to say something profound – almost always.  He is yet to fail me.  There is always an insight into something that I did not realize – prior to our conversation.  Our conversation on this particular day, as it usually does, started out with heartfelt greetings and other formalities and then one of us will say something about something we’ve read, something we’ve heard, or something along the lines of business.  You see, Uncle Barry is a self-made man.  He has worked for himself most of his adult life.  And this conversation, just as any other, commenced in the same manner.  And all I remember was, “…the degree to which you are committed to your reality equals the degree to which people will respect you!”   Those words came out of his mouth – effortlessly and it was like the words had a life of their own.  And I got it.  I completely got it!


When you get tired of being sick and tired, or when you are tired of going to school and stopping; when you are tired of working a dead-end job, when you are tired of that no-good piece a man or woman (and don’t we know plenty), when you are tired of just wandering aimlessly through life, without compass or sail and become committed to your reality, life will begin to unfold as it should – when it should.  And whatever that is, people will begin to respect you.  This relates to bullying, it relates to the job, the church, your children, husband or wife, parents – it does not matter, when you become committed to you, the world will commit equally to you.  I heard someone else say, “…for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”.  Decide to be committed to you and look for a mirrored reaction! – Period, Case-Closed!