Dying Man’s Daily Journal – The Power of Words

Feeling good these days, just really sucked out, no energy.

I am going to do something today that I have never done before. I am going to copy an entire post from a fellow blogger. It was posted by my dear blogging friend Jennie over at no more abuse.

OK, I admit she is very flattering and complimentary about me in her post and that does make me feel good. But that is a side issue and doesn’t relate to the point I am trying to make here. Now Jennie really is a stranger to me, just as are most of the people here on the blog. The point I am trying to illustrate is the tremendous power of words not just my words but words used by everyone. Jennie writes of how I was able to reach out to her through cyber space and have a positive impact on her and for that I am so very glad.

The point I am trying to make is that we all have within us a tremendous power. The power of words can be beyond our imagination and affect people in ways we can never realize. We must appreciate the power of the words that we have within us and so often come out of our mouths. Simple words can have an amazingly powerful positive affect or can have a devastating negative affect. Everyone of us has this power of words and it is a power we should always use wisely.

Now, I will always be the first to admit I am no one special. I have no training at anything well other than banking. I am just a guy sitting at his computer in his basement typing his thoughts and feelings. I have first hand experience feeling the power of words, on a daily basis. I experience it through the loving, kind and supportive comments left here on the blog. Positive and uplifting words have such an impact. They lift our spirits, they can change a mood and yes even change a life. Change a life, many may think I am going a little over board with that comment. But, it is true, again I know it from first hand experience. Writing this journal and reading the comments left by readers has indeed changed my life.

Think about it what does it cost us to spread a few words of kind loving support, NOTHING. I write often of how every moment of our time is precious and that we should waste not a single one of them. The few moments of time spent in this way would truly not be wasted but instead very well spent. Spending a few precious moment in this way can be so very rewarding. To see a smile on the face of another and to know you put it there is a reward of immeasurable value. It warms your heart like few other things can. PLUS, you just never know how deeply you few words may have affected that other person, you never know the ripples it may created. All from a few simple words.

Obviously, I am suggesting we share these words on a very regular if not constant basis with family and friends. But, why limit them to this very special select fews? Why not share them with everyone in our world? It costs us nothing, it takes but a few seconds but who is to ever know how deeply our few words may impact the individual and how wide spread may be the results.

We can be so quick to notice and comment on what we see as the negative around us. Let’s make a conscious effort to be just as quick to notice the positive and be just as quick to voice those comments. Todays world has evolved into such that we generally avoid contact with any that are not within “our group”, that being family, friends, coworkers etc.. Yes, today’s world has evolved and changed, to the point where our daily interactions can include literally hundred of “strangers” on a daily basis. Who are all of these strangers? Well, really they are just potential friends we haven’t gotten to know that well yet. All need and are deserving of a few kind supportive words every now and again. I am just sitting here thinking, is it just me or does everyone seem to appreciate and feel a little more uplifted by a few kind words from a stranger than from our own family? Each of us has that great power within so let’s start to use it in a very positive way, TODAY!!!!!!!

Our words to others don’t have to contain great wisdom. It is enough for the person to just know that even if it is only for a brief moment there is someone that recognizes them, appreciates them for what they are doing and cares enough about them to say it.

Here in my journal, my words are never fancy. In fact almost always they are never even thought out or planned in any sort of a way. I just write my thoughts and share my feelings. If I can do is so can you in fact so can everyone.

Here on the administrators site of my blog, I can see how many hits each individual posting gets. I can also see how many actually visited other sites I have recommended or have asked people to visit. I see that generally it is a small percentage. My dear friend Jennie’s post so clearly illustrates what I am trying to say here. She quotes my simple words to her, you will see, nothing fancy or wise. She also writes of how those few simple words impacted on her.

To Jennie, I thank you my friend you can never know how deeply touched I am or how deeply your words have impacted on me. I do thank you so much.

Top illustrate my point, I humbly give you Jennie’s post and comments:

The Power of Words

I recently came across a web site,
wordle.net, where you can create “word clouds” with any text. It takes the words and arranges them randomly in various ways. Common words like prepositions are thrown out, and words repeated often appear larger. I was playing around with it by copying and pasting snippets of text from various websites. It was pretty interesting to see the words thrown together out of context.

I decided to try a snippet from Bill Howdle’s Dying Man’s Journal. I copied and pasted a paragraph from his post Words Helping Others and added a few other words he uses frequently. The above “wordle” was the result, (link to larger size). Makes me feel good just looking at those words. So I’m looking at them a lot.

I have always known that words have great power to help or to hurt, yet I did not fully appreciate the power of words until my exposure to verbal abuse. Perhaps one positive result of this experience will be that I become more mindful of the impact of my words on others, and on myself for that matter.

A woman named Juanita posted this comment on Bill’s blog:

“I want to thank you for helping me want to go on living. Your words, on this site, has done more for me than anyone. From your words I have been given hope, encouragement, and love. I had forgotten that there were loving people in the world, but more than anything I had forgotten I was one of them. Thank you for giving me back my life. You will always be one of my hero’s and always in my prayers.”

I can relate to that. Last May I left a comment on Bill’s blog about how his post about making changes had helped me. He replied:

“I am proud of you for taking the small steps to improve your life. Way to go, and good for you Jennie, keep that thought process going, it will get you to where you want to be.”

At that time, when it had been so long since I had received any encouragement, Bills’ words were like rain in the desert to me. I’m getting teary eyed just remembering how it felt when I read those words.
I understand more than ever how much words matter. I am making an effort to speak more lovingly and positively. And that includes what I say to myself, by my thoughts.

I am reminded of a post by Avi at husbandabuse about a time when he was in the hospital for a heart condition.

Although the nurse is paid to do her job I could not help but be touched by the fact that after leaving the room she took the time and made the effort to stop, turnaround, and say “Have a good night”. Oh! How many nights did my wife NOT do that for me. I honestly cannot remember her EVER initiating those final few words one would think would be exchanged by a “loving” couple as they fall asleep for the night. Hmmm, gets me thinking about the tenderness of our hearts both circulatory system wise and perhaps just as importantly, emotionally.

In writing about verbal abuse, one must necessarily write about the negative impact. And the flip side of that is the positive impact of loving words. As Bill said:

How many times have I heard or read that verbal (emotional) abuse can have a must longer and deeper impact on a person than even physical abuse. Physical scars and bruising heal much more quickly than emotional ones.

Emotional bruises and scarring take much longer to heal and can stay with a person for their entire life time. Not always but often this time of long term hurt is caused by words. Depending on where and who these words come from they can cut down inside to our very soul.

I would imagine most of us at one time or another have at least heard of this, the terrible power that can be contained within a few words. We know of how words can be just devastating, we realize that. We know that “mere” words can have such a devastatingly negative impact. I ask then wouldn’t it just stand to reason, if we look at the flip side of the coin, that “mere” words could have a wonderfully healthy healing power to them. If words can tear us down then obviously words can build us up in a healthy positive way.


As usual, Bill’s message is simple, true, and powerful.

Language is funny. Take the word ‘heart’ for example. Medically speaking, Bill has a “bad heart”, in layman’s terms. Yet in human terms, it is clear that he has a very good heart. His good heart is abundantly clear from his efforts to reach out to others, and the supportive, encouraging, caring words he uses.

Words are powerful, yet sometimes seem so inadequate. How do I say “Thank you Bill” in a way which conveys the gratitude in my heart?

Collapse comments

Anonymous Bill said…
There is and never has been any need to thank me. I thank you for becoming a cyber friend.
I feel very touched and honored by what you have written and I thank you for your words. If you felt any need to thank me consider it done and done in such a beautiful way. I appreciate it so very much.

August 4, 2008 1:47 PM

Blogger jennie said…
I know you didn’t need to hear ‘thank you’, but I wanted to say it anyway. Expressing gratitude feels good and knowing you made a difference in someone’s life feels good too.

Having experienced the positive effect of your words in my life, I am making an extra effort to follow your example and pass it on to others.

August 4, 2008 3:34 PM

I guess all I am really trying to say is if I can do so can everyone else.


3 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – The Power of Words

  1. Henri says:

    Thoughtful kind words are nice. Words backed up with concrete positive actions are better:)
    I am posting to let your friends know, you do more than post to a blog in cyber-space.

    To recap, Walk4Justice. A group of women walking from Vancouver, BC to Ottawa, Ontario. to focus attention on the more than 3000 unsolved cases of missing and murdered women and children in Canada. They are mostly, grandmothers, the oldest, Mabel Todd is 74. the youngest, Angel, is 3.

    In spite of Bill’s health issues, he selflessly offered the use of his vehicle during their stay in Winnipeg. Not to mention his invaluable contribution to their pamphlet.
    (I sometimes get on my soap box and enter my biasis into what should be a universal thought)
    Violence against women and children is the issue. I focused the pamphlet on aboriginals(Thank you Bill) In Bill’s thoughtful way he reminded me. I amended it.

    Yesterday, Bill came through for the girls, again. One of their vans had a siezed transmission, ouside Kenora, Ontario. I had banking and other supplies(stored at Bill’s) they needed. What was supposed to be a 3-4 hour drive, roundtrip, turned out to be a 10 hour drive. What was supposed to be Kenora, turned out to be Dryden.

    Without Bill, the girls would have been sleeping in their tents inside wet sleeping bags, there had been a severe storm the night before and their gear was not dry.(they were VERY happy to see me.)

    Bill’s health issues do not deter him from helping where and when he can.

    Thank you again Bill…
    My seester is so lucky.

    Henri, thank you for your kind comment

  2. Jo Hart says:

    What a beautiful post. Without even realising it, I had tears in my eyes when I had finished. This post, has left my heart and soul feeling light & fresh.
    Geez it’s good to know you Bill, but also to read and know the other people like Jennie. I love the word cloud, and how exact does that sum up this site. I would love to get a print out of that and put it here in front of my desk. Did Jennie email you this? If so, can I have it. I’d love to blow it up and stick it right in front of my face….
    Thanks Bilol & thanks Jennie, for just really making my day…. May the sun be shining on you always, even though the weather may look stormy…

  3. Mel says:

    What a beautiful woman……what a powerful post.
    And the wordcloud–is just too awesome.

    Left me with tears in my eyes and wings on my heart. Not just the post itself–but Henri’s words, what he shared about the selflessness of the man I’ve come to know.

    It’s an honour and a privilege to call you friend, Bill.
    And as always–thank you for being all that you are.

    (((((((((((( Bill ))))))))))))))

    And thank you Jenni. You’ve managed to put into picture and words what I’ve been inadequate at the task of doing.

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