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 The Power of Words, Article, Aaron Mitchell

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Join date : 2011-06-28
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The Power of Words, Article, Aaron Mitchell Empty
PostSubject: The Power of Words, Article, Aaron Mitchell   The Power of Words, Article, Aaron Mitchell EmptyThu Jun 30, 2011 10:07 am

He sent it to Jessa and Me because of an older forum post before the info@.. email
I told him that I would put it in submissions, edit it, show him the revisions and decide if we wanted to publish. I figured having more pieces to work with was better.

Quote :

It was an interesting twist of fate when I - a boy growing up in Alabama, mostly found catching fireflies with my sister or swimming in the community pool - sat down to watch that video. The teacher pressed play and the words resounded through the room, over my eardrums, and into my soul. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream - a dream that joined the very drum of my heartbeat.

It's interesting because, just twenty years before I was born, Alabama had been a hotbed of racism. Whites there, long made callous by the "status-quo", had spit enough venom and slander to make a sailor blush - and a lot of it at this man who was speaking on the TV.

It was a recording, of course. MLK died long before I began my term at Kitty Stone Elementary School; and, thankfully, so had the tacit acceptance of that particular tumor of prejudice. The cancer had been mostly excised and the wound was still being cleaned - hence the video. My community was, in this way, inoculating me from the disease that had once plagued it.

But I was close enough, in time and space, to look back and know that I had been spared. The words billowing into the classroom that day made that very clear to me. They awakened a gratitude in me that became a hunger.

I grew hungry to write like Thomas Jefferson - or Mohandas Gandhi.

I grew hungry to speak like Reverend King - or Winston Churchill.

I grew lean and wary of books that close minds.

I've read, I've wrestled, I've prayed, and I've thought long and hard about the power of language; one Indian lawyer with words moves a nation; one southern preacher by words destroys hatred; one piece of parchment claims all men are equal. Words are the spark and the fire and fuel. They light up humanity in the brightness of brotherhood - or the fury of hate. I do not treat them lightly.

Considering this, I am wonder-struck to find that on figment, on facebook, on twitter, on blogs, there are a great many people all generously sharing these treasures. It is truly a world full of Harry's and Hermione's; Dumbledore's and Ron's; Ginny's and Dobby's and Hagrid's and Gryffindor's; people mastering their ancient magic at the keyboard, honing their power by practice and practice. I foresee them speaking in the years to come, magic to magic, heart to heart, all around the world; protecting each other from hatred and fear; inspiring each other to courage and kindness.

Yes, it's safe to say that the Reverend's words became a part of me that day. And I pass what I've learned along to you all.

Words move mountains. Words break bones.
Be brave with them. Be wise with them. Be good with them.

Aaron Mitchell is the author of The Happy Butterfly (
He blogs daily at and writes for FLY.
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