One of my favorite songs is Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence”, and there’s a line from the song that has always stood out to me- “Words are meaningless and forgettable.” No offense to Depeche Mode, but they have it all wrong. Words have meaning and they aren’t easy to forget. Good or bad, meant or not meant, words have the ability to impact us in many different ways. One great song with lyrics that pierce through our soul can change our life. One great book filled with unforgettable characters and life lessons can make us take a step back and look at ourselves and our world differently. One encouraging voice has the power to lift us up, but one discouraging voice has the power to destroy us. What do all these things have in common? WORDS!
So no, I do not believe for one second that words are meaningless and forgettable. I believe words have a power like no other in our lives and every word that impacts us stays with us for life, some stronger than others, but still there. I believe this to be true because without my senior year English teacher telling me I should be pursuing writing at a time when I seriously contemplated giving up acting to become a writer, I wouldn’t have had the courage to make that change. It was his words and his belief in me that helped me make my decision. Without his words, I probably wouldn’t be an English major in college, sitting here writing this blog or working on my first novel. So without words, where would be? How would we express ourselves or share stories and experiences? How would we help others find the strength and courage to make changes they might not have had the courage to make on their own because they were unsure? To me, words are everything and I don’t take them lightly. The expression “Mean what you say and say what you mean” I take to heart because our words can and will impact someone. I hope that one day my words will leave a positive impact on people and encourage them the way my senior year English teacher’s words encouraged me.
I agree with you–“words have meaning.” If they didn’t, we wouldn’t care about anything that was written, and great literature would be forgotten. Excellent post!