Could the way we choose to use our words make us feel happier? Give us more freedom? Maybe even help the world and change the life of others over generations to come? I personally think so.
I made this painting to always remember how these words over the years have changed my life for the better, to remind me of all that is possible and the hope that is always hidden in short simple words.
I give the credit, first, to my dad who planted the seed of these powerful believes in me and my love for reading, the many books from amazing authors that with their hearts and words, continue to support me and guide me in my path to make my own decisions and feel empowered to be who I'm meant to be in this world.
I learned recently that our power to create words and language differentiate us from the rest of the species in this world, words have the power to unite us or separate us in masses and make history with just one sentence or word. Like the famous quote from Martin Luther King, “I have a dream”.
In my own personal experience, becoming bilingual played a big role in the way I see the power of words. Growing up in El Salvador, I had no interest in learning English, but little did I know, my parents would move our family to the US when I was 15 and I would have no choice but to learn it. It took me YEARs to feel comfortable speaking only in English or let alone make friends that only spoke english. I grew so conscious of my accent I barely have one left, even in Spanish I felt I had to adapt to the many different accents and slang ways of speaking in different Latin American countries. For example, “You” is “Tu” in spanish but in El Salvador, some Central American countries and Spain, “You” is called “Voz” which is “You” in castilian, I was heartbroken when the first person I met that spoke Spanish in school didn't accept the way I spoke. It seems much easier for us as humans to judge something or reject it when we don't understand it. I tried to be everything else but myself and lost myself in the process. I remember feeling so confused and embarrassed of the way I spoke and how my accent and the way I spoke was so different from everyone else.
Words can empower us and move us forward but they can also create lies and hate. A simple word of kindness can impact someone’s life forever, a hurtful comment could impact someone’s life forever. We can give and receive through words. I believe we give a very powerful and personal meaning to words as they pertain to our own world and understanding which might be different to someone else, it's our responsibility to use them wisely.
I like to think of words as negative and positive energy, when we use words of kindness, we receive kindness, when we give hateful words, we receive more of the same.
It is important for us to understand how the words we consume on a regular basis affect us either positively or negatively, from tv, music, social media, etc. We live in a world of endless information and entertainment literally at our fingertips, with the freedom to think we can say whatever we want behind a screen without a consequence, but are we truly understanding the power and responsibility we have with the words we choose to say or write?
My dad who loved to read would share with me and my sisters over and over again, the most important lesson he learned from the famous author Dale Carnegie that say: “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain”, in Spanish he would say: “no critique, no condene, ni se queje”. He would repeat this so many times that when my older sisters and I were reunited after 15 years in El Salvador, we all shared this special memory of him telling us this so many times! This frase stuck with me the more and more I got older, and even becoming a fan of Dale Carnegie and his books myself, and while I can say I’m perfect at it, it truly has changed my life for the better, the less I criticize, condemn or complain, about others or myself, the more emotional space and energy I gain to grow and build new beautiful relationships in my life, including the relationship with myself.
The last thing I would like to share to come along with this art piece is a song that, you can even say has become our family’s “Anthem” for road trips and expresses this message perfectly and with a super fun reggae beat 🙂