The Power of Words
I grew up with the saying “sticks and stones will hurt your bones, but words won’t hurt you”. I don’t know about you, I disagree. I do understand that the saying was well meaning, I think the idea was to not let what others say have sway over us. Which is relevant in some circumstances. Words have power.
The words, the things we tell ourselves have enormous influence. Words result in actions, which become habits, and habits affect our destiny. Often we talk to ourselves subconsciously. If it’s negative self talk it will rob us of vitality and well being. Intentionally spoken affirmations can have the opposite effect, propelling us to a state of hope and positive action.
That’s not what this post started out to be though. As someone who loves to read, I love words, learning new words. Recently two intriguing words have been on my radar.
The first is tsundoku. Tsundoku is a Japanese word for that stack of books you’ve bought, with the best intention of reading, It’s not just about the compulsion to buy books, although I admit I find it very difficult to walk around a book shop and not exit with at least one to add to my pile. There is a genuine desire to read them. I’m slow at taking up technology however I’ve recently discovered Audible, which is increasing my capacity to make a dent in the pile, although it means purchasing the audible version. I still prefer to read the book with my own eyes however this is a good way to devour some of the content which is pleading to be read.
The second is ‘depaysement’. It’s literal translation from French is “to be without country”. It’s modern day use embraces the feeling you experience when you travel, when you are away from home, surrounded by the unfamiliar. It can be both positive and negative. It could be horrific if you are displaced due to war, oppression or trauma.
In its positive form we crave the experiences that bring depaysement. It’s the stimulation of all your senses, it’s the ‘on edge’ anticipation of what surprise is around the next corner, it’s the thrill of the unexpected and different. It’s the polar opposite to our predictable everyday lives filled with routine. We’re fortunate here in WA that our state is vast, from the far north to the south, the coast on the west to the inland eastern parts we can find some depaysement without getting on a plane.
It’s fascinating that both these words invoke feelings. And feelings can be described as words imprinted on our heart. Today I wish you an abundance of kind words. Speak to yourself as if you were your own best friend.