A Tribute to People

A couple of months ago I wrote a post titled, For the Love of Words. Today, I want to apologize. Oh, not for the post. It’s an expressive piece on word power. It received good feedback. But, I have recently discussed the current news, including some cases of bullying, with a few different people. I mentioned that previous post and said that Mechanical-Pencil holding tipperhaps we needed to better teach responsibility for the power of our words and actions.

One person was not sure how my post related. So, maybe it didn’t communicate all that I thought it did. Words do matter to me. That’s why I’m passionate about writing. But there is something that matters more: people.

People Power

People matter. You matter. That’s the reason I choose my words carefully. Not because I don’t want to eat my words later, but because I don’t want to see the destruction I’ve caused or try and make amends in the aftermath. I’ve seen the power of both positive and negative words in my life. I want mine to be encouraging. A quick glance over that post might cause some to conclude that words are the most important thing to me. They’re not. There is more.

From the original post:

{“Certain people today don’t realize the inherent power of spoken and written words. They write in haste, speak in anger, and refuse to see the teetering mountain of consequences about to crumble.

Still others rejoice over words that make people weep. But words have a strange way of returning to the person they came from. They’re yours and you’ll have to live in their company. If you use words only as weapons and manipulative tools, you build a prison for yourself.Writing - hand blast past

  • Words can build walls around us or expand our boundaries.
  • Words can be hatefully hurled or they can provide health and healing.
  • They can incite wars or unite nations.”}

Words are most often the “currency” of relating to each another. Everything we do in word or in deed affects the world around us. When I was in the naval reserves, we sometimes went into secluded wooded areas to do combat exercises. Afterward, we picked up our gear and trash, including items that were there before we even arrived. We did the same thing with the buildings we stayed in. Since we were in a construction battalion, I think they sometimes gave us the poorer barracks because they knew we’d grab our tools to fix the leaky faucet or the creaking door. We had a guiding principle of leaving an area better than we found it.

That is my greatest hope for my words. I hope that they leave the people I come in contact with better because I stopped by. My less lofty hope is that at the least they’re not any worse.

Also from, For the Love of Words

{“You may be remembered for being a person of many words or a person of a few words, but the people whom you’ve truly touched will remember exactly what those words were.“}Writing - hooks - inspire

One of my grandfathers was a man of few words, but they were always encouraging ones. I remember them well. My memories are good ones. Words affect people’s lives even after the person who said them dies.

We can’t always know what people are going through; how much an encouraging word might build them up, or how low a discouraging word might bring them. Communication is easier and faster now, but it’s not always better. I want my ability to express myself to always be improving.

I don’t know what hopes you have for your writing and I won’t tell you that you have to incorporate my ideas. I just wanted to clearly say that I care about people most of all. I want to know if my words have harmed you. I’ll try to make amends. I’m grateful for your feedback on this blog. I am always happy to know you stopped by.

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14 comments on “A Tribute to People
  1. I really connected with your story about your military experience as a vehicle to share how we should use our words: “We had a guiding principle of leaving an area better than we found it.” It’s awesome to see how you are encouraging others to be people who speak life, who write with restorative intention.

    Thank you for what you bring to fellow writers through your thoughtful blog, Peter!

    • You welcome, I apreciate the specific comment about what parts of the post connected with you. It is always helpful. Thank you also for the kind words and the encouragement. I always enjoy your writing as well. Stay strong.

  2. Michael56j says:

    Totally agree. Our words can harm or heal. It’s our choice, and we should choose carefully. Well said.

  3. One of the things I constantly check before saying or writing anything is this – am I trying to manipulate the listener/reader into either a course of action or a way of thinking?

    Convincing someone is one thing, but manipulation smells of a spoiled child making life miserable for all around until it gets its way.

    The line can be a fine one. For example, my wife works for an insurance company as an AR specialist, while I work at home as a writer and metal fabricator. She talks with a lot of people…I talk with the dogs, and sometimes swear at recalcitrant workpieces.

    Sometimes, when she gets home, she gets involved with one of the current music programs on the television – America’s Got Talent, or The Voice…or spends time catching up with the family on Facebook.

    If I feel slighted, and comment, I could gain her attention, but to what end? To compel another’s company is a bit like taking a hostage.

    And what of my feeling slighted? I married her with the desire that she’d be happy…and if she is, with these evening pursuits, shouldn’t I share the joy?

    Words, in this case, can only take something away from her, and feed the Impossible Child part of my ego. Lose-lose if I ever saw it.

  4. Julie Luek says:

    Words are mighty– they can be the force for change (and sometimes, even in love, change can offend); they can heal and uplift, create solidarity and motivation for new directions; they can inspire and motivate and cause us to think. Seems to me like you use them well.

  5. dmswriter says:

    Yes! This is all so true – technology allows us an anonymity that permits an easy misuse of words if we choose to tread that path. It sounds very simplistic, but I always envision our six-year-old niece when I write a post. If it’s something her mom could read to her, I know I’m on the right track. (I’m talking quality of work, not grade level appropriateness here.) And an encouraging word is worth its weight in gold – the words you say can make all the difference, and you might not even know it, so choose them wisely. Well said, Peter.

  6. When I write on my blog, I always try to make sure I do not offend. When I have written on a topic that has people on both sides of the issue, I try to include both viewpoints. But, if I am trying to persuade, I state my case as succinctly as I can with whatever I can use to back it up. I try not to go on a rant too often, but sometimes a particular topic will just set me off. Still I re-read it many times before hitting the publish button to make absolutely sure these are the words I want to cast out into the world.Your post here was very thoughtful and made me think. You are a great writer and I always enjoy reading your posts.

  7. lindaricke says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Words are powerful. We need to think before we use them and choose them wisely.There are certainly enough of them to take the time to choose the best ones to convey our meaning.

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