Word Up!

When spoken colloquially, it means, “That’s right.” Or, “That word is true.” This compact expression validates another speaker’s words as holding great meaning, great power.


The Beatles knew all about the power of words. “Say the word and you’ll be free!” they sang, harmonizing the crucial message that the schoolyard chant of, “Words can never hurt me!” was (and is) a dangerous myth.
Words matter. They change lives, for good or for evil. They make agreements, create slogans, break hearts, uplift the fallen, dash hopes, end wars, begin conflicts, promise devotion, christen new beginnings, pronounce epitaphs, inspire souls, and give names to discoveries, ideas, children. Words have weight.


Recently, I was asked to chair a small Beatles symposium, and in doing so, I gained undying respect for the Lapidos family, who so adeptly manage our very, very large Fest for Beatles Fans. Twice each year, Mark, Carol, Michelle, and Jessica deal expertly with “the words” of hundreds of authors, artists, musicians, entertainers, speakers, craftsmen, hotel representatives, food service professionals, volunteers, and fans of all ages. They do this with great finesse, while I found chairing my small symposium…well, an eye-opening adventure.


You see, in my limited experience that weekend, I discovered the real power of words. I found out that for some people, words are bonds. These faithful, honorable souls “give their word,” and they keep it.


But, for others, “the word” is empty, vacuous. And their ineffectual, broken words make them untrustworthy – impossible to respect. I learned that, “Actions [really do] speak louder than words.” In fact, actions are the visible proof that an individual’s words have substance and merit.


At this moment, you and I in the midst of another huge “festival” of sorts: we’re participants in a political fest in which words are being handily juggled all about us: bright promises, catchy phrases, glistening pledges, and “oh-so-sincere guarantees.” Here, there, and everywhere, political candidates are performing…dancing about and basing their success on the impact of words. They’re traveling the country speaking, charming – trying to insinuate words into our brains. More than any other tool in their arsenal, these public figures employ words.


“Give [my words] a chance to say that [my words] are just the way!” they seem to sing. They beguile us with clever syllables.


But, we are wary – you and I – because we’ve heard it all before. We’ve heard, in the past, from political pundits who’ve promised to “do this and do that” and then have failed to deliver. We’ve learned the hard way that words of promise offered without the integrity of deeds can lead to failure, guiding us toward the very “eve of destruction.”


So, how can we be certain that someone is sincere, that “the word is good?”


Well, The Beatles suggested this formula:


“Give the Word a chance to say
That the Word is just the way!
It’s the Word I’m thinkin’ of…
Have you heard? The word is Love!”


It’s just that simple. Look for Love. No one speaking in Love can mislead, wound, threaten, lie, assault, cheat, defeat, defame, blame. Those speaking in Love can only offer healing, support, truth, strength, courage, and hope.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not Love,” the Bible tells us, “I am nothing.”
Look for the Love. Evaluate the words of others in Love’s bright, unblinking light.


And then, while we’re at it…let’s speak in Love. When our words leave our bodies and brains, they travel forth as our ambassadors, representing us. Some people may not ever meet us in person, but our words (via FACEbook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs, email, and various other forms of social media) create a vivid image of what we really believe and who were really are. Is my image one of Love? Is yours?


“Give the word a chance to say
That the word is just the way!
It’s the word I’m thinking of,
And the ONLY word is love!
It’s so fine, it’s sunshine…love.”




Jude Southerland Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series: www.johnlennonseries.com


Jude is represented by 910 Public Relations — @910PubRel on Twitter and 910 Public Relations on Facebook.


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