Monday, January 11, 2010

The Power of Words

To you, a sentence may just be a string of words put together with proper punctuation. But to me, they're more than that. They're influential. They're life changing. They're simply one of the most amazing and beautiful things on this planet. Yes, I am still talking about words.

Sometimes I don't think that people realize how powerful their words are, both in a good and a bad way. Being involved on campus, I see how what we say can influence things. In Senate, a 2-minute speech could change the way someone looks at a piece of legislation. But at the same time, the bashing and the trash talking of certain Senators can influence the way people view that Senator. Words can change you, for the best or the worst.

I'm not a negative person, so I really don't want to sit here and talk about how words can negatively affect a person. Rather, I want to focus on the positive power of words.

In early 2007, I found out about an organization called To Write Love On Her Arms. This non-profit taught me early on the power and influence of words. Go to their website and read the story, and regardless of whether or not you can relate, you will be moved. You will be inspired. You will learn that people need people, and that you are not alone. One simple story and one organization changed the way I look at my life. This may sound absolutely ridiculous, but To Write Love on Her Arms literally saved my life. I utilized the resources and re-read the story and the vision, and I came out alive. I learned that my story and my life matters; I learned that I matter. Jamie Tworkowski has a way with words, and when I read the things he writes everything around me doesn't even matter. In that moment, his words and his stories are all that matters. He is one of my "writing inspirations". That is, I desire to write like he does. His words are so powerful and they reach out to so many people. His words save lives, as crazy as that sounds.

Have you ever done the activity where you write your name on a piece of paper and pass it around the room and people write something positive about you? (You can also do it where they tape it to your back). This is honestly one of my favorite activities of all time, and I keep every single one that I do. I read them when I'm having a bad day, and the little things never fail to make me smile. They remind me that there are people out there who love me and who appreciate the things I do for them. I'm reminded that no matter what people have to say about me, that I am a great person and that I do really great things for others.

Today at our Senate retreat I was reminded that the things we say do in fact make some sort of impact on the students, and it's important to watch what we say (both in and out of Senate meetings). Students look up to us. That sounds corny, but there are so many students who wish they could be where we are but think that it's impossible. Take it from someone who interviewed 5 times, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE IF YOU WANT IT ENOUGH. I spent 8 months trying to get into Senate, and I'm finally here. I'm living the one major goal I had for college. I'm beginning to realize that sometimes when we are in these positions of power, we tend not to watch what we say. As Senators, we tend to lose sight of why we're here: to serve the students.

I know I just rambled on and on about the power of words. I repeated myself and got really corny at times, and I apologize. It's just something that I feel really strongly about, and I really wanted to share it. Well, I have to get up for class in 6 goodnight <3

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