Words Are Still Power

Words Are Still Power


I’m writing from the head-fog-filled morning of November 9, the day after the Election was called for Republican candidate Donald Trump. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be about politics and rhetoric and debating who did what. You have your views, and maybe they’re the same as mine, or maybe they’re not. One thing I know, is a lot of my friends and loved ones are hurting and upset. And like Louis C.K. has said,

For those that feel like your country is against you, hates you, thinks less of you, doesn’t respect you rights, or at least feels like their well-being is more important than yours, and even those that feel misunderstood in your party-stance, here are some things that can maybe lighten the load on your heart.

  1. Not everyone feels this way. There are a lot of people doing good in this world, many of whom want you to know you’re not alone, you’re not silenced, and you’re not done fighting.
  2. Life imitates art, right? Well, the good guys usually win in art. Keep that as a balloon lifting you up when you feel down. There will always be conflict, there will always be setbacks, but “Love Trumps Hate” on every side of the table. We must continue to believe that.
  3. Speaking of art, now is the time to turn to it. To continue to quote some badasses, Robin Williams spoke one of my favorite quotes of all times in Dead Poets Society: “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” That’s true now more than ever. What is more fundamental than ideas and words to promote them? Use this power for good, to go all Spiderman’s-Uncle-Ben on you.

So keep writing. Keep creating. Keep using your voice to spread the good message and to lift up your neighbors. It may feel hopeless sometimes; it may feel like you are too tired to create; it may feel like your words are being smothered or dismissed. But change happens slowly and with proper persistence. We must all remain open-minded, hopeful, and resilient in the face of otherwise dark predictions.

Really, no matter which side you’re on, you have the power to be positive, to fight back, to stand up for what you believe, and to accept when your ideas are challenged. Most of all, be kind. Be a friend. When we care for each other, we are automatically moved to do right by each other. It may feel like I’m on a soapbox here, but as an artist – as a writer, specifically – I feel like I must use what I have. And what I have are words. Lots of words, and lots of power since I choose to use them and to believe the brilliant Robin Williams.

And I understand that sometimes words don’t always hit home right away. That words can’t always dispel that dark fog-cloud that suffocates you. So be kind to yourself, too. Watch a movie, read a book, buy some poetry, close your eyes and listen to your favorite music. Go to church, if that’s your thing. Ask those around you to give you time, or space, or an ear.

I’m looking forward to the great minds and thinkers of our time putting their words out into the world and empowering and emboldening those that feel forgotten. Poets, novelists, painters, musicians, teachers, mothers and fathers, and even politicians – there will be great words circulating in the years to come. Don’t be afraid to add to them. Be the voice you’d like to hear.

Here is a picture of a puppy, as a last resort cure-all: