Typically, I’m a man of few words until presented with pen and paper. I’m better at writing than I am at speaking. It’s a bit of a mystery, much like the mysterious origin of language itself. Evolutionists have no clue to its derivation. Our sophisticated language distinguishes us from other life forms, allowing for some intelligent designers to refer to it as proof of the divine. Wherever it came from, we’re a species built on words. Without them we’d be apes, or ape-like, living in trees or caves, grunting and screaming, threatening or fighting, trying to force our instinctive will. Such linguistic abilities elevate us beyond those primitive antics, or at least it could if we respected it more.
Too often, I think, we take language for granted. We even say, actions speak louder than words because words can’t be trusted. We don’t always say what we mean, we exaggerate, we sensationalize, we lie, jading us to words, not knowing who we can trust.
And yet language is who we are. It elevates or depresses us, binds us or separates us, and it is why we usually elevate someone honorable into the honorable position of the presidency.
Most presidents understand the need to choose their words wisely, as noted in Obama’s often stuttering approach. Even the seemingly innocuous phrase can be misunderstood. We learn early on that demeaning words might cause the fisticuffs to fly, something the president-elect has probably been insulated from most of his life. So he uses them thoughtlessly and recklessly, relying on a reality TV audience to absorb them as entertainment.
After Chicagoans scuffled with Trump’s supporters and prevented one of his campaign appearances, I warned a Republican friend that this mayhem represented what a Trump presidency would look like. Such divisive words build walls, and they’re not easily vanquished.
Republican’s now call for unity after eight years of offering only obstruction. Give the man a chance, they say, as our democratic system dictates. I can’t help but wonder if the system’s been broken. Is it not built on words of hope and unity and compromise, as opposed to his divisive campaign? Some are asking him to calm the situation, to denounce the hate crimes and ease fears, but he lacks the ability, or the credibility. He’d have to apologize and say, “Please, don’t act like me. Be better than me.” Words that will never cross a narcissistic mind. Maybe now some will better understand that words matter.
They have lasting power, especially when expressed from such a lofty position.
Some indigenous believe every word possesses a spirit. Whether you believe this or not, they are words to live by. It seems obvious that Trump’s words have released a dark spirit over this nation – good luck getting the spirit of bigotry back in its bottle.
He’s already built his wall, erected from the mounds of vile and offensive remarks lingering from his campaign (and his history), and now being enhanced by the questionable characters chosen to surround him. People will pick their sides of the wall accordingly. I suspect it’s here to stay until someone more dynamic and open-minded can break through and demolish it with hopeful and inspirational words.