The power of words

By Laiba Muhammad Aamir
Fri, 03, 20

Language is not only a means of communication between people; its primary function is to define people....


Language is not only a means of communication between people; its primary function is to define people. In this way, words are not only used to communicate and express thoughts and emotions but they actually originate and produce these emotions to describe people. Thoughts and ideas have no existence unless they are expressed through language. Language gives existence to reality and, ultimately, to the entire universe.

When a child is born, he wants to express his feelings by making different sounds. When these sounds develop into proper form (language), the thinking ability of a child also improves. Therefore, it is right to say that thoughts and language are inter-connected.

Our language works in a system following the “Law of Attraction.” This law says that our thoughts have the ability of bringing into our lives whatever we focus on. For this reason, when a person uses positive words, its frequency matches with all the positive energy in the world. On the other hand, when a person uses negative words, its energy attracts all the negative energy in the outside world which affects him adversely. For the listener/readers, this system works the same. If a person listens to or reads time and again that he is good, healthy, supportive, intelligent and brave, he will start perceiving himself as a good person. In contrast, if a person listens to or reads that he is bad, stupid, and loser, there is no way that he will think or achieve positivity. The brain uses repetition to learn. It searches for patterns and consistencies to make sense of the words around it. Therefore, people attract what they think, speak, listen, write, and read.

The law of attraction works in the sphere of philosophy but there is also a scientific reason behind the power of words. Plant studies in which the same plant was placed in three different rooms confirm this theory. In the first room, kind words were spoken. In the second room, harsh words were spoken. In the third room, there was complete silence. The results show that the plant which was kept in room with kind words grew a little more than the other two.

Other than philosophical, psychological, and scientific evidences of the power of words, there are some myths as well. According to some report, in the Solomon Island of the South Pacific, the islanders practice a special form of curse magic. If a tree is too big to cut, these people start cursing the tree with negative words and yell at it. This negative energy damages the energy of the tree and it eventually falls to the ground.

Language is not just mere collection of words which comes out of someone’s mouth or pen; it has the power to help and heal and, at the same time, to hurt and kill. Words have the ability to change people’s lives in good and bad ways. They are the reason through which relations are made and broken.

Diane Satterfield said: “There is something about words because they wind themselves around your limbs like a spider and never let you go free, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts and do their magic inside you.”

This game of playing with words is not a recent work. It started since the days of the Roman Philosopher, Cicero. Throughout human history, greatest leaders and thinkers have used words to transform others emotions and to shape the course of the destiny the way they want. From Shakespeare’s tragedies to Barak Obama’s speeches, they have been used by to influence audiences.

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, has said that words can be made more powerful by the use of three elements. Firstly, ethos is the use of one’s authority and credibility in language. If a doctor tells his patient that a particular medicine is going to generate best possible results, his patients are going to use that medicine without giving it a second thought even if it proves to be poison later. Secondly, pathos is the use of producing feelings and strong emotions in one’s audience. If a leader wants to arouse the spirit of patriotism in his citizens, he will target their emotions through his words and it always works. Thirdly, logos is the use of logic, facts, and reasons in one’s language to persuade his audience. Elif Shafak said in The Forty Rules of Love that if a stone hits a river, it will treat it as yet another commotion in its already turbulent flow and it will not take it as something unusual, but if a stone hits a calm lake, the lake will never be the same again. This statement of Elif Shafak has definitely hit her readers hard because of the use of logic.

Therefore, be mindful when it comes to the use of words. They are not just sounds or marks on a paper but a pack of energy. They are the reason through which people are persuaded and aims are achieved. They are the reason through which some people rock and others fail. Be careful what you are saying and what you are listening to. Be extra careful what you are writing and what you are reading. Stay away from toxic words because a sentence may not have much value but it can make or destroy lives. Words are free but the effect that they have is priceless. They are nothing in themselves but they can turn the world upside down with their energy. Words matter because they carry tremendous power. When you speak, speak well. When you write, keep in mind that there is a receiver at the other end who will be affected accordingly. What starts out as a sound or mark on a paper, end up as an action. Therefore, do not say “I am not well”; say “I am in the process of getting well.”