The Most Powerful Word | The BridgeMaker

The Most Powerful Word

By on Mar 27, 2011


Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs. – Pearl Strachan Hurd

The power of a single word can bring peace, start a war, spark love and provide inspiration. The power of a single word can make you smile while another word can make you cry. And sometimes the power of a single word can make you do both.

There are times when just one word can change my mood. The softness of my wife’s voice when she speaks her one word or the satisfaction I feel when a reader sends me an encouraging word makes my spirit soar.

Words are the most valued currency of human communication. The right words give clarity when the world seems out of control. Humankind invented words because our need to connect goes beyond the physical. Words offer an emotional context to what we are feeling, thinking and doing.

Over my lifetime, I’ve learned how powerful a single word can be. I’ve learned it doesn’t matter how many letters or syllables a word may have because each one has the power to change lives whether it is spoken or not.

Waiting for the words to come

When I was a child, there were many times when I wanted my mother to put down her glass and speak again. I would sit in the doorway to her dark bedroom waiting for any word that would tell me she knew I was there.

Her words seldom came, but I kept waiting – hoping her words would return someday.

Later in high school, I read J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and fall in love with the power of the written word. I identified with the central character, Holden Caulfield, and his sense of confusion, pain and anger. Like Holden, I alienated myself from the world as a way to self-protect. And like Holden, I wanted to believe the ducks would return to the lagoon – no matter how harsh the winter.

So, that’s why I’m a writer today. After reading The Catcher in the Rye I understood how words have the ability to change and heal lives. I wanted to share my words and help others feel they are not alone. My hope today is that after reading my words; no one has to wait a single moment longer to feel worthy, special or loved.

The most powerful word

Before sharing my most powerful word, you are invited to visit The BridgeMaker Facebook page where I recently asked friends, “What one word is the most ‘powerful’ in your life right now?

Here are some of their answers; and their most powerful words:

  • Peace (Keila Cruce)
  • Confidence (Cleve Wong Wei Jun)
  • Tolerance (Jan Hoersten Hemeyer)
  • Inspiration (Steven Richard Gettman)
  • God (Sharon McCormick Miller)
  • Health (Sharuba Shaka)
  • Breathe (Maria Derewianka)
  • Family (Patricia Cardona)
  • Peace (Susan Clark)
  • Love (Kai Jun)
  • Social (Manal Assaad)
  • Composure (Dandy Reiner)
  • Hope (Cynthia Dines)
  • Gratefulness (Myra Richard)
  • Prayer (Jani Thurman)
  • Trust (Laurence Pallez)

My most powerful word

Love, peace, and confidence are powerful words to me. But, if I had to live the rest of my life by the meaning of just one word it would be faith.

Sometimes I feel my resolve is tested every day. The pain I experienced as a child waiting for my mother to be a mother can still trigger me today. During times when my dreams and desires seem to stall, I lean on faith to give me hope.

Every experience is a teacher and every moment is an opportunity to learn from the experience. This is what faith has taught me. My soul takes in this single word and uses it to quiet my restless mind. Faith, then, is like medicine for my soul.

This one single, powerful word whispers to me that everything is going to be okay; that I’m worthy to be loved and the ducks will always return to the lagoon – no matter how harsh the winter.

What is your most powerful word?

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The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Joy is the perfect word for you Michelle.

    Joe, taking time to appreciate exactly what we have is always good. Thanks for this important reminder.

  • Joe Sabado

    Appreciate is my most powerful word. I try to live each day appreciating what I have and that allows me to see the world from a positive perspective. I see too many around me focusing on what they don’t have or the ills of the world and sometimes they forget how fortunate they are to even be alive.

  • For me, the most powerful word is “Joy.” It’s my compass, my true north. When I’m following my “joy,” I feel most alive and on-purpose! Thank you for asking the important question. Cheers to the power of words…and for your strong faith, Alex, that shines like a beacon for the rest of us to follow.