Words can be an engine for good

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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Words are a powerful tool. They can be used to inspire or discourage. They can be used for hope or for fear. They can be used to record history or to try and erase certain events. They can convey emotion, both love and hate.

Performance poet C.R. Avery delights the crowd after the first round of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words' poetry slam competition at the Mae Wilson Theatre at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre on July 18, 2014.

Words are used to communicate. They have been used that way since the beginning of time. No matter how much technology becomes prominent in our lives, words still hold a sense of power like nothing else.

There was nothing negative about the Saskatchewan Festival of Words this year. Those words were used as a tool for engagement, innovation, inspiration, enjoyment and exploration. Through a variety of workshops, sessions, readings and a poetry slam, authors from all genres interacted with the community and many people from out of town.

Pass sales were up and the festival set a new attendance record at Friday night’s poetry slam. There is a reason this festival is renowned all over Canada. The interaction between authors and attendees, as well as attendees with each other is outstanding every year.

The Festival of Words celebrates words every year and offers a chance for us to learn and get to know others who share the same passions we do.

If there is anything to be said, it’s that we can never forget about words. They are a part of our lives. In many ways, words are more powerful than violence.

It is, after all, words that have inspired nations to act or positive changes to come forward. It is words that can change or enhance our lives. Words shape our political sphere, which in turn shapes our lives. Our words can inspire others to make a difference in the world.

The late Nelson Mandela, for instance, used his words to provoke hope in many people around the world. Mandela, who died last December, would’ve turned 96 years old last Friday.

He was opposed to the apartheid regime in South Africa and served 27 years in prison for speaking out with words.

Released in 1990, he was elected South Africa’s first black president. In 2009, the United Nations declared Mandela’s birthday, July 18, as Nelson Mandela Day. The changes he made are still felt today.

This past Friday, South Africans were encouraged to spend 67 minutes helping others on that day because of Mandela’s 67 years of public service. Acts ranged from volunteering in orphanages to handing out blankets to those less fortunate than themselves.

Words started all of that. Words can start a revolution, a cycle of change. Let’s spread the word and create positive changes in our community.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: United Nations

Geographic location: Canada, South Africa

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