A word is a symbolic expression that is either written or spoken, and has the distinct characteristic of being non-conformist. Its liquidity makes it such that, one word can have various meanings and interpretations; subject to context as well, that is, a word can have both literal and figurative meanings.
Words are beautiful, powerful, and even mysterious. What I find most interesting is the fact that God is known as the Word and by the Word all things were made, according to the scripture. Thus, it can be sufficed to mean: he spoke and it came to be or he sent his word, which is his spirit, to do the needful.
The destructive power of words cannot be overlooked as it can take only a split second for something that took years to build to be pulled down. Notwithstanding, it can also be used as a tool to extol, and as a bridge that connects souls, minds, cultures, generations, and so on.
The bond of humankind goes beyond food, water, shelter, which are the basic necessities of life. No matter how dire the situation, a word, rightly put, could be the force that changes everything. Hence, much attention should be given to the wise saying on the power of words as against sticks and stones….
In the words of Shanna Wianecki in The Beauty of Words, “…one word could change the meaning of a sentence in its entirety.” Is it any wonder why I love words so much?
Written by Nkem Oduah (Appointed Ambassador of the Word) in celebration of the International Day of the Word as Bond of Humankind, which coincides with the day the Museum of the Words was inaugurated on November 23, 2009.
The Museo de la Palabra (The Museum of Words in English) is a non-profit organisation, part of the Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation, whose ethos is to promote art and the use of dialogue as a tool to achieve peace between different cultures and religions. The museum is situated in Quero, Toledo, Spain.