My students ask me, ‘why do you like to write?’ Usually, they have wrinkled noses and scrunched up eyebrows and frowns on their lips. The same expression appears with the related question, ‘why do you like to read?’
It is hard to impress the power of words on a generation that prefers photos (Instagram, Snap Chat) or 140 character limits (Twitter) for their communication. Even the texts they send are often devoid of words. Smileys or Thumbs up? Emojis?
Words have always fascinated me. Captivated me. Empowered me. I’m good at words. They don’t even have to be English words. I like Spanish words, Ukrainian words, German words, French words. It doesn’t matter. Words are fabulous. They turn into pictures in my mind. They give voice to my imagination. Through words, I can travel to unreachable destinations, through time, both forward and back, with people, real or imagined. With words, I can express the song of my soul. I can empty my mind onto a piece of paper, or pour my thoughts onto the screen of a computer. Words can be private or public, for friends or enemies, spoken or not.
But how to transfer these ideas to the kids that come through my classroom? How do I get them to see the beauty, the wonder, that I see?
I expose them to my world. Read to them, talk to them, write with them. We talk about cultures as we learn their words. I am enthusiastic. I share my love. I pray some of it will stick.
Words are powerful. They can change lives. I pray that my words, or better yet, the best words of all—the ones found in the Bible—will penetrate your heart and find understanding in your mind. Let words make your life better today!