It is not in the words we say
but in how or when we choose to speak them
that creates an impact.
What do we see behind our testimony?
Are we giving lip service to ideas propelled by fear?
Are we compelled to cater to a narrative that belittles one and uplifts another?
Has the source compelling us to change
created movements that perpetuate change
that crosses the divide?
Or instead, used pain to destroy all chances of hope for some,
and stirred dissension in others.
Power cloaked in repentance,
weapons of warfare laced
by silver tongues in pursuit of personal salvation.
Loud speech only covers sins,
it does nothing to heal the sores
the beleaguered mouths
that wretch in open spaces.
Are we corruptible pawns or warriors for peace?
Are words a means to an end, or a bridge to give light and joy to all?
Words do not have souls, but humans do.
They are broken more easily than they are built up.
We cannot bring truth to the past and change it.
We cannot hide the shame of an ancestry steeped in mistakes.
We learn from them,
but do not dismember the voices of imperfect people
who discovered truth beyond their errors,
beyond the angst and hatred
and strove for change.
We are weak
all of us.
No one is only singled out on their merits
they are bound by them
propelling them to further understanding.
Words are freedom fighters.
Words are oppressors.
Yet they are what we make them
what we imperfect label them.
The present is here--at this moment.
We cannot waste words on ideals that shift with the tide.
Our freedoms came by a hope for shared freedom--
Not an ill-begotten desire to pick and choose what cause we seek
for a sense of purpose.
Our souls are our great equalizers
and they've existed since
before ideals became ostentatious trophies,
before preying on the weak became a sign of strength.
We are generals of generalization,
some sourced from the darkness,
others based on sad truths.
Sad truths that can make us bitter,
or create impactful reflection and change our hearts
so that we can love others until they long for light as well.
Are we soldiers joined by a brotherhood
blood that transcends our histories
that encompasses a compassion
which goes deeper than our mistakes?
Or are we driven to be vigilantes
enacting our own form of justice?
A justice that gives no one a chance to truly live
but only to survive?
Think--imagine--every word uttered is a future changed.
Deliberate before delivery.
Our tongues enflame hearts or
are welcome salve on open wounds.
is more impactful than
and heated blood.
A genteel action is far above a violent storm,
it is the eye and the storm
And words are a beautiful rapport
when we embrace our faulty fellow man.
Before sharing becomes a self-serving display
and truth a little less important than lies
let us remember that lives begin and end
on the weightiness of words.
I used to believe that my words didn’t matter, but as I age I’m learning how the tongue can be wielded a terrible weapon and yet when seasoned with truth and love a beacon of light. One of my biggest regrets has been the damage I’ve delivered when I lived vicariously through a false sense of who I wanted to be and was caught up in my own insecurities.