It is so true that language and words are powerful motivators in human life. Words can alter the course of history; can elevate a person to ideas and connections that may inspire generations to come. Words can do harm, but they can also heal. Some of the greatest movers and shakers in world history were great orators. Words can provoke, evoke, proclaim, elicit, defy, illuminate, obscure, clarify, inflame, move, motivate, pacify, challenge, enrage, catalyze, quicken, persuade, balance, elucidate, arouse, explain and the list goes on… It is astonishing what words can do! It is astonishing what a single word can do, like freedom.
It’s part of the job of an educator to revisit often “the school of life language department” to get refreshed and re-immersed in the wonder of words. So to my fellow and fella philologists, to all you lovers of language and words, champions of protein packed vocabulary, etymologists down to the roots, captains of context and rescuers of relevance… here is a little encouragement for you!
Pass on your love of language to the next generation. Invite children into the wonderland of words. Words are living substance. We need to care for them as such. Words are doorways into other worlds, new perception, new understanding. Spend a little quality time with one word a day in your classrooms. It is fortifying, balancing and nourishing for the kids in your care. (No word left behind!)
The value and meaning of words change over time. Take for example, the word freedom. Consider what it means in the collective psyche of Americans today compared to the year 1776. Consider what the word freedom means in the context of different cultures and circumstances. Potent words like the word freedom can be misused, abused and bandied about as propaganda and thereby diminished in value. The best way to rescue a word from being trashed by the media or political deception is to re-imbue, re-infuse that word with core meaning and value. It is to bring the word back home to itself! That way a beautiful and profound word like FREEDOM is not lost to the next generation.
Inspire the children through your use of language. Help rescue the English language from mediocrity. Quality in what we say!
- Wonder in the world of words.
Put the art back into language arts!