Sparked by Words

Power of Words

Spewed in anger, hatred and ignorance stomping by one’s side, words are curses that strafe the listener.

Written thoughtfully with justice guiding one hand, empathy the other, words are sacred and hallow the reader.

Sometimes it’s the same person raising both flags – and both fists. Think Mohandas Gandhi. Think Susan B. Anthony. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hannah Arendt. Nelson Mandela. Mulala Yousafzai. Ai Weiwei. Oprah Winfrey. Abraham Lincoln. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Winston Churchill. Marie Curie. Steve Biko. Aung San Suu Kyi. Edward R. Murrow. Ava DuVernay. Bill Gates. Emma Lazarus. Larry Burrows. Mother Teresa. Jacques Cousteau. Christiane Amanpour. Rudolph Nureyev. Judith Leyster. Wang WeiLin (the Tiananmen Square Tank Man.) Kate Leone and Rosaria Maltese (the youngest girls who perished in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.)

Artists, politicians, speakers, writers, thinkers, doers, scientists, rebels, observers, victims and heroes all. They remember history, they stand tall, they broadcast wide, they consider the future. They honor those who went before and think of children yet to come. They plant themselves before tanks, pull down statues, write treaties, document injustice, create art, tend the poor, test frontiers, and forge pathways through flames.

The observers howl. They whisper. They incite. They model. They fail. They confess.

They get folks riled up. They calm them down. They make them feel. They demand response.

They shout in their silence and choke on their tears.

Fiction is flexible. It encourages all ends of the spectrum. Writers agitate as much as rabble rousing firebrands and salve as gently as a nurse dressing wounds.

To follow in such footsteps – I hope my words one day lead you someplace worth the vision.

There is always a reason to write.


Just a thought 41


Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819)

Francisco Goya’s Third of May (1814)


Comments on: "Power of Words" (33)

  1. That’s a wonderful list of stirrers!


  2. Sharon, what a wonderfully passionate post you have written about the
    power of words. Your first two paragraphs so strongly states what they
    can do.
    As your writing continues I see the words as music and the writer as a conductor.
    Amazingly vivid and deeply felt writing.

    The images are wonderful in themselves as well as support to your words.

    ~ miriam


  3. Words are indeed powerful. They can wound and they can heal. If only we all tried to accomplish the latter with our words, rather than the former.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It does all of that. I get much angst out by my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes we write to relieve the pain. Good a reason as any.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh My DEAR Lord (as we southern’s say!) this is magnificent! and your choice for images, brilliant. Nothing can compare to Goya and Géricault’s haunting pieces. Perfect match, Sharon! Now where will your muse take you next, I wonder?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent essay once again, Sharon.


  8. Jenna Barwin said:

    Powerful words, Sharon. Thank you!


  9. Your last 6 lines – more than just “a thought”, it’s poetry in motion.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Words do have so much power indeed as do pictures and both your list and choice of paintings show this perfectly, Shari. And I know that your words and other creative works will be part of just a similar list one day soon. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sometimes I wish words incited less and showed compassion more for another’s point of view. I hope that all writers listen more than they incite and offer us ways to live in another’s shoes long enough to recognize the common humanity in us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Words are powerful indeed and you use them well Sharon. I just wish some of our current leaders used them just as well. I was having a discussion with my brother who was saying that positions of power are often held by psychopaths and sociopaths because it is the nature that is needed to get to these high positions becuase to get there this is the type of personality that is needed, and their words, just as powerful but divisive. Is it any wonder, if this is true, that the world is in need of help?


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