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Words can be powerful. The power of our words can cover a diverse spectrum. For example, words can educate, entertain, encourage, comfort, manipulate, offend and undermine. Words have the power to control life now and shape the future. But we also have power. Each of us has the power to arrange our thoughts into the words we say and write. We also have the power to decipher what we hear or decide what information we listen to.

A spoken word's memory (good or bad) can linger in our hearts and minds for a lifetime. They can set us free by sharing their power and influence and helping us to celebrate our being, never stop dreaming, recognize our talents, and strive to achieve. But they can also hold us hostage, cultivating fear and insecurity, stealing our joy, and setting obstacles in our path that sometimes we never overcome.

Written and recorded words live on after our time on this earth as our legacy―bestowed on generations for perpetuity. The power of words goes well beyond our lifetime. I think of the classics I've read―centuries-old works that don't simply give me a lift but in which I find direction and glean understanding to handle situations that I encounter here and now. I've also found works so hateful and cruel that I must work daily to diffuse their power―tune them out and wipe them from my memory. Still, the lift, knowledge, and joy I get from words (oral and written) are powerful enough to foster my love for writing and reading the works of others. But I will always consider the power before choosing the words I speak, selecting the words I write, determining the words I read, and embracing the words I allow to permeate my being.

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