Opinion: Words Matter- Here’s Why

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

Words are funny things. They’re both powerful and powerless, a currency everyone uses.

Here’s the problem about words: you can’t escape them, can’t hurt or kill them. You can spend your whole life haunted by a single conversation, single sentence, or even single word, and there’s nothing in this world that will take them back. Words can’t really be forgotten, just moved past.

Words can make you cry in joy, or cry in pain. They can be the whispers pushing you forward or the voices holding you back. Because of words, you’ll replay entire conversations in your head, trying to justify why the words were even used in the first place.

Words hurt. A few days ago, I let other’s words get into my head, mess with me. Maybe it wasn’t their purpose; the words weren’t directed at me. Yet, once you hear or see a word, once you let it affect you, it doesn’t matter their original purpose. Words have no masters, no conscience.

So when I let the words in my head, they were trapped.

I don’t think they were fighting words, but once I heard them, they were stuck like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Every step I took, the words shot across my brain like ping pong balls, back and forth, so fast I couldn’t control them. They were the friend who overstayed their welcome, the cough you can’t seem to get rid of. They were inescapable.

When I rounded lap after lap on the track that afternoon, even my usual workout pace felt sluggish. The words made my head buzz, my body tremble, to the point where the words were the only thing I could focus on. The words made my legs feel like iron weights, each stride heavy.

I’m a journalist. Words are my nature. The words I write are supposed to make a difference, to help people, yet somewhere along the way they’d been mangled, turned into something they weren’t meant to be and slapped back at me. The words said to me weren’t what stung the most; it was the way my words had been twisted.

A few days ago, some words made me feel voiceless, and worse yet, feel like I shouldn’t have used my voice in the first place.

At the end of the day, words are just words. The only power they wield is the power you give them.

Words have the ability to empower the powerless, to change minds and create ideas. Every single word has the ability to make an impact. So choose yours carefully.