I will never forget the day. My freshmen year of college, one of my required classes was English Literature. Honestly, I was less than thrilled. English Lit was not on my bucket list.
It was a cold afternoon in Ohio and I hustled from my dorm to beat the train going through the campus. I arrived early enough to find a good seat at the "back" of the room. (Yes, that's right, in those days I was a back seater student. The last thing I wanted was to get stuck in the front :-)
The professor walked in a few minutes late, cooly strolling in wearing a tweed jacket looking a lot like Jack Black would today.
In a passionate voice he introduced himself glancing at his new students in the room. "Welcome everyone! I am your Professor, Dr. Davis. But rather than thinking of me as yet another teacher, think of me as a GUIDE on your journey."
I looked around the room to see if others heard what I had heard. He held a pause as if to let it synch in. Then he continued. "The most important thing you need to know is this..."
He then grabbed a piece of chalk walked up to the black board and wrote down three words in big letters.
"Your first exercise is to write. I want you to take out some paper and write an essay on why "Words Have Power". He then looked at us all to make sure his instructions where clear.
"You have 20 minutes. Write whatever comes to mind. Don't erase. Don't cross-out. Just write on why words have power. This is your first test! And you start now!"
I sat there looking at a blank piece of paper. "Why Words Have Power" - I thought. "Okay" -- and I then gripped the pen letting it hover over the paper. After a few seconds of nothingness, the words just seemed to magically come from my hand to paper. Needless to say, that one exercise would end up changing everything for me. Writing has unlocked secrets I didn't know I had. It's why I write today.
Over the years I've written a number of articles, papers, essays, and blogs. I've actually turned some of my writings into books. Why? Because words DO have power, and I want to encourage others with words -- written and verbal.
Let me know what you think of my writings -- whether it's books or blogs. My greatest hope is that it adds value. But ultimately I want to encourage you to write too. Journal for yourself. Imagine what new world awaits through the power of your words.
So what did I write that cold January afternoon in 1985 on the campus of Ohio University? Well, as best as I remember, here's an excerpt of what I wrote.
"Words have the power to motivate, encourage, lift, tear down, destroy, move, inspire. Words have meaning. Words have life. Think about it. They are part of creation. It was spoken words that created our universe.
We also have the power to create with our words too -- they need to be spoken and written. Words matter because we matter! Words cast vision. Words give clarity. Words give light to a world that's dark, and they give warmth to a world that's cold. Yet, if we hold our words back, we hold others back and we hold ourselves back. We need words to give and receive. Words give life."