Friday, February 10, 2012

The Power of Words

Ciao everyone, 

     I wanted to write about something I have been thinking about lately and much of my life, the power of words (I'm an English Literature minor who loves to read...).  Spoken or written, either way, I feel that sometimes some people do not entirely realize the power, influence, or effect that words can have.  Words can build confidence, tear it down, express emotion, make one fall in love, cause various emotions, cause people to end their lives, or even convince them they have a reason to live, among many other things.  I realize these do not always apply, depending on the person and situation, but they are just some general and some extreme examples.  I know, I think about random and strange things, but I feel it's important.  I just wanted to write my opinion on this subject that has been on my mind for a few reasons lately and has been affecting a few different parts of my life.  

     One example of this I have thought about lately is when you tell someone "I love you" or "I'm in love with you."  This statement can be very powerful or even meaningless depending on the person saying it, their feelings, the context in which it is said, etc.  Sometimes, some people carelessly throw those words around to get something they want or just to make the other person not feel bad.  Other people take care to whom and when they use them because they view them as special and only reserved for those whom you truly love.  Personally, I would never tell someone I loved them if I did not entirely and truly feel that I knew I did.  If I say that phrase to someone, it means that I trust that person enough to share my feelings with and that I count them among the people whom I would never want to live my life without.  I tend to be rather shy and usually (or used to) keep most of my emotions to myself, so if I manage to tell someone that I love them (other than family or something), it means I have put a lot of thought into it and really trust that the person to whom I was speaking would not take it lightly.  Some people place less value on the words "I love you" and more on actions that show it, which is fine.  Yes, actions are important as well.  If you tell someone you love them and then go and want to be with or kiss someone else, obviously you did not mean it and place little value on the words.  I do think it's important to try to show someone that you love them because actions do show how you feel as well.  Personally, I prefer both.  I think there is just something magical about seeing and hearing those words that should not be taken for granted.  I don't know about you, but nothing would make me happier than when someone I love says those words to me.  Even writing them is pretty amazing  , but I still think it's nice to hear them. 

     Also, someone recently mentioned to me that saying "I love you" over and over again makes it lose its meaning.  I do not think so at all, at least not for me.  Sure, maybe if you do not mean it and if you said it like 50 times a day maybe it might, but if the person saying it still really means it and just wanted to express that, I think there is nothing wrong with it.  I think it's sweet, in fact.  Who would not want their girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/ whatever to tell them they love them every day?  I know that when I hopefully get married, I would love my husband to tell me that he loves me quite often and I'd do the same in return.                     

     Something else that kind of relates to the previous topic that also shows the importance of words is when someone writes something for another person.  As someone who also loves to write as well as read, I have written many different stories, research papers, even some poems, etc. over the years.  Of all these writings, very few have I written specifically for and given to other people.  In my opinion, when you write something like a poem or story or letter, especially something involving your emotions/feelings, it makes you somewhat vulnerable and only with few people would I trust or love enough to share things like that.  I always dreamed that one day a boy whom I loved would write something for me that I inspired.  I don't know if I ever really believed it might happen, since I tend to be such a hopeless dreamer, but it worked out for once. Yay!  :)  My boyfriend recently wrote me a poem and when I read it, I literally had to stop myself from squealing with joy! (Haha!)  It was beautiful and I read it over and over again.  I was so thrilled and loved that he would take the time to do that for me.    It was a dream come true; he's so sweet.           

     Another topic that involves the effect words can have that I have thought about recently is bullying.  If you do not know, I am currently studying to be an elementary school teacher, so bullying is a topic I have to think about because it affects many students in schools everywhere today.  It has been brought up many times during my college education so far such as what to do about bullying in the classroom, classroom management ideas to help prevent it, and even social studies lessons to teach children why bullying is wrong and how it makes others feel.  I recently attended an education club meeting at my university and the speaker gave a presentation on bullying.  Most of what she said I had heard before but she did give us a few good examples of ways to incorporate prevention of bullying into the curriculum.  She told us about a few books that could be incorporated into reading class on the topic and even gave us a few lesson plans we could use.  
     As a child, I did witness other children being bullied, not very seriously as I have seen since then or in the news, but there has always been bullying of some sort in schools.  I never really experienced it much firsthand. Sure, I did a little bit, all people most likely do at some point in life.  I was probably called "fat" or something like that a few times, but nothing that really affected me too much.  I was fortunately always in a rather sheltered, strict school (private, Catholic) where much bullying was not really seen or tolerated.  I do remember one boy used to tease me about my father being in the "mob" because he is a somewhat intimidating-looking Italian man (haha!) but that was not really a big deal either...I found it sort of comical!  I am very aware though that many students do experience extreme amounts of bullying in school today.  It's such a shame and I'll never entirely understand why or how some people and children can not realize what they're doing is wrong and how cruel bullying can be.  I hate to see a story on the news about a child who could not take being bullied anymore and took their own life because of it.  It's so sad.  Much of this bullying involves words, cruel words, either said in person or more often today, on the internet.  Anyway, hopefully as a future teacher, I hope I can help explain to my students the seriousness of this issue and incorporate bullying prevention into my lessons.  That trite phrase they used to tell children: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" is rather untrue.  Yes, they cannot physically hurt you, but emotional pain is also serious and can sometimes lead to worse things, depending on the person.

     Okay, that little (or large...) rant went in such random, poems, and bullying in schools...totally normal!  They are important/interesting things to think about though.  Comment below, I have a few questions for you if you'd like to discuss my random topics (This is such a teacher habit I've developed: always have questions prepared after reading something...haha!):

What is your opinion on the power/importance of words? 
What do you think about the importance of saying "I love you"?
Have any of you ever had any experiences with bullying? 
Have you ever had a teacher who helped you in a situation where you were being bullied or did they teach anything about it in your school as a child?        

P.S. Sorry no pictures today...It would sort of distract from the general topic/message, if you get my point.  I have lots of picture filled posts planned when I get a chance though.  Soon hopefully!  :)

                                                                        Xoxo Gabriella          

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