The Treatment of Words

I think we do not always treat words as we should.

We fling them around and fill silences for the sake of it. We add and subtract as though what we’ve said can be taken back or redeemed. We don’t always think before we speak and we listen to respond, not to understand.

Sometimes, anyway.

In studying literature, the most outstanding thing to me is that each text tells us something, each text has been written for a reason (or has become a ‘classic’ for a reason). And maybe we can’t say “this dead author is commenting on this aspect of society” because maybe we don’t know that. But what purpose do our words serve? Do we speak with purpose or simply because we can?

When I write something, I edit it. Upon editing, I think thank the Lord no one read this in its original state. But I don’t have that luxury with what I speak out loud. Sometimes I wish I did because boy oh boy do I say the wrong thing sometimes.

All of this isn’t to say I think people should second guess everything they say; that wouldn’t be treating words as we should either. Words bring a certain power and shouldn’t be tucked away; how amazing to be able to voice what we think and feel, to converse with others and understand.

In all, I suppose I just forget how impacting words are, to ourselves and to others. As I’m writing my assignments, particularly my short stories, I’m so aware that someone else will read my work. Not only in the sense that they will mark it and give feedback and possibly crush my dreams, but also in the sense that what I write they will take in. If I write trash, the marker will have to read it. If I write truth, they will have to read it. I have the power to change someone’s thinking, for them to learn something from me.

Scary, when you think of it like that. Scary, when you think about people taking in my words.

Amazing, when you think of it like that. Amazing, when you think about people taking in my words.

I think we do not always realise how much we can impact someone, or a situation, by what we say. I think we’re not always aware of this ability we hold to voice what we think.

Sarah xx

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