Words. Crafted by a determined agitator, words can divide a nation. Spoken by a peaceful activist, they can unite a people.

A single word contrasted by an azure canvass can extend the hand of brotherhood to a fellow countryman, conveying the hurt and shame felt for a previous generation’s wrongs.

Written by a devious man to serve selfish ends, words can undo a century’s work to rid the world of horrific infectious childhood disease.

Fashioned in law, words can deny dignity in life to those who seek to love who they please, and in death to those who’d rather let go in ill-health.

From the pulpit, a preacher’s words can drive youths to suicide, or a congregation to violent acts.

Words can paralyse a generation as they watch our climate slip toward breaking point through fear of personal cost.

Words can wound. Words can heal. Words can build bridges, and words can kill.

Words are the greatest tool humankind has to shape the world, for they allow the formation and communication of thoughts and ideas, of plans and designs, of love, pain and art through the ages, surviving far beyond the mind which set them free.

Words are a lifeline. Words connect us with each-other, building relationships and strengthening bonds. Words are a suitor’s best friend, and a lover’s gentlest toy. On receiving a letter of love, words can fill us with secret joy.

Words are a conspiracy’s surgical instrument, turning the loyal with conjured doubt. Words build us up, but equally break our heart.

Words are powerful yet plentiful – valuable yet free. It costs nothing to say “you’re appreciated”, yet so few invest the price.

Words can feed the soul, or destroy it. They can build a child’s confidence, or decimate a man’s self-worth. Words can strengthen a woman’s resolve, or crush a team’s moral.

Left unsaid, words can stall a friendship, which could have been great.

I like my words to uplift – to console and to cheer. My words sometimes challenge, but my intent is sincere. I’d rather my words make you laugh, or feel good about some aspect of you, than cause sadness or pain, which I couldn’t bare to do.

My words are a gift, freely given to you.

We all have words. What will you do with yours?