"A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day."
This powerful Emily Dickinson quotation begets both conviction and inspiration in my heart.
I am convicted when I realize that a daily running record of my words would not always prove that I agree with Emily Dickinson in this quote. Sometimes, I haphazardly speak in a way that suggests that I believe words can leave my lips and then simply dissipate into the surrounding air. I neglect to pause and consider the type of seeds I am planting in the minds of my listeners. I let raging emotions trump reason or kindness and foolishly assume that apologies will somehow retract the words I so thoughtlessly spoke into being. Sometimes, I fail to speak the words of love and affirmation others need.
If the above quotation is true, and I believe that it is, I'm dismayed to think of the type of life I have, at times, put into being as a result of my own carelessness.
At the same time, I am inspired when I imagine the beautiful bits of life I can put into the world when I choose my words intentionally. I can speak small seeds of truth, motivation, empowerment, and love to those around me. I am encouraged, knowing that although my words may sometimes seem to fall on deaf ears, they very well may be continuing to grow far beyond the day I first utter them. All of the "I know you can!"s, the "I believe in you!"s, the "You are so smart!"s, and the "I care about you!"s that seemed to be in vain may one day grow in the minds of students I interact with to such an extent that they will conquer the condescending giants that now rule their minds.
I aspire to live in constant awareness of the fact that, as Proverbs 18 says, "the tongue has the power of life and death"...and to use mine for life.