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!

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