I’ve always loved the power of words. I love the words we use to read and write. I love how words give us a voice to channel our thoughts. I love how we can speak, text, send emails, or post online to convey our message. I like talking, as many people would know. I can get animated and loud be it in my speaking voice, my blog posts, or my tweets.
But what I love most of all is how we can converse with each other how we can engage in discourse. I’ve always been a sucker for a good conversation. I like talking about the mundane as much as I like talking about the meaning of life. I love how we can share stories, and through stories we expand our experience – to visit places we’ll never go to, meet people we’ll never see, learn things we’ll never get to learn alone. It’s beautiful, how words allow us to interact and collaborate, and I love how we can do that as a species.
Unfortunately, the problem with being able to talk is that we tend to do too much talking, much less listening. It’s much easier to do that these days, too. We have almost every kind of platform to speak and to be heard. We tweet, we post, we comment, even this blog is a testament to that. It was bound to happen in this age. We all have a voice and we all want to be heard, which in itself is a pretty good thing. It’s nice to be heard, and it’s nice to allow our stories and opinions out into the world.
Speaking out is the good part, but it comes with its own side effects. What horrifies me is not that people have different opinions; what horrifies me is that more we’re allowed to speak, the more people are refusing to listen. These days people give their two cents on everything, all for the sake of proving that they’re right or that their story is more important than others. Very rarely do we actually listen, myself included. And even when we do listen, we listen selectively – to the same opinions, to the popular ideas, to the louder voices.
I still think our capacity to speak is a blessing. I only wish we use it to do what it does best – to share, to collaborate, to work together. I know actions do speak louder than words, but that does not remove the power that words have. There’s so much more we can do when we use our words to comfort, to teach, to forgive, to work together, to create good in an increasingly selfish world, probably even speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves. And at the same time, may we learn to listen to other voices as well, that somehow we won’t be confined to our own echo chambers. To me, words will always be beautiful, captivating, and powerful, and I definitely think we can still use them right. May we all have a good conversation.