The Power of Words to Effect Change
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The Power of Words to Effect Change
Expand Black History in Schools
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Trump supporters living in the moment
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March 20, 2016
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The Power of Words to Effect Change

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By Janice S. Ellis, PhD,  Kansas City, MO —

The power of words to effect change is a great tool to improve the quality of our lives when used wisely. How do you see the state or quality of life within your immediate family, your neighborhood, community or city, your state, our nation? Do we see ourselves as islands or do we believe we all are interconnected to a lesser or greater degree?

Do we ever pause to ponder such questions amid the hustle and bustle and daily demands of family and work? Sadly, it is likely that most of us are so hurried and busy living that we do not pause to give a fleeting thought to the times of our lives, let along use the power of words to effect change. Instead, we often go along to get along.

Whether it is the state of the economy, the quality of education available, increased gun violence in our homes and on our city streets, or surprise terrorist attacks where we work, worship, or venues where we gather with friends and family – they are all issues that can be addressed using the power of words in meaningful dialogue.

The Power of Words to Effect Change

We must take time to read, listen, think, analyze and come together to act upon these issues and events, examining the potentially lasting impact on our lives, the lives of our children, our grandchildren, and their children. It all can be achieved with the power of words. The power of words to effect change.

The Power of Words to effect change

The power of words to effect change in the human condition. Photo Credit:

We have all heard the sayings, “If you don’t know where you have been, how can you know where you are going?”  We must look at today’s events, from yesterday’s and tomorrow’s perspective, and the more we observe, the more we will realize that broad and sweeping changes and conditions develop over time. Many are unnoticed until it is too late because we are not engaged.

The Power of Words to Effect Change 

Decisions and policies, many of which are far-reaching and life-altering, are often talked about and acted upon long before we see the nature and kind of fruit they will bear – good or bad. More importantly, the lasting impact on the quality of our lives.

The fate of a society is much like raising children. What a child ultimately become is as a result of the kind of nurturing and experiences he or she encounters over time. That is not to ignore that natural events beyond anyone’s control can also lasting impact. But, such events will never excuse or justify our apathy, our silence, and our inaction.

Each of us needs to take time to find a quiet place on a frequent basis (at the end of a day, sitting or driving on a Sunday afternoon) and ponder the long-term implications of what is going on around us.

There are examples everywhere, in our communities, our cities, the nation, and on the world stage, where people use the power of words. History is loaded with examples of both heroes and ordinary people who cared enough to speak up and speak out. They understood the meaning of powerful voices.

The power of words to effect change

The power of words is at your disposal. Use it. Photo Credit:

The power of words is always available to us. Many have used the power of words to impact and improve the human condition and they knew that meaningful and lasting change would not come over night.

Now is a good time to ask what has changed significantly (for better or worse) over the last 10 years?  20 years?  30, 40, 50 years?  How did those changes come about? Was it because of the power of words or was it because someone took advantage of our silence?

The real and overriding question is: What conditions are we willing to just accept, when the power of words could be used to bring about positive and meaningful change?

More importantly, are we willing to speak up and speak out? Never under estimate the power of words to effect change.

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Janice Ellis
Janice Ellis
Janice S. Ellis, PhD, is an award-winning author. Her book, From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major book sellers. She has written a column for newspapers, radio, and now online, where she analyzes educational, political, social and economic issues across race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. You can see her writings on this website.


  1. Kei says:

    Words can cut deep into our mind and heart. We should really be careful about what we say.

  2. vikram parmar says:

    The word power is with us. Several of us make use of the word power to effect and enhance the conditions.

  3. mercy says:

    There’s always power in the tongue and spoken words, if one needs to see the needed change then one will have to speak up. We can change the world by speaking against what is wrong and speaking for positivity.

  4. Angelo says:

    Words can really have a big impact on someone. It is as powerful as it seems.

  5. mini says:

    I love the slogan change your words,change your world. Definitely words of the mouth can be impacting. We must all speak up.

  6. Shekhar Bothra says:

    I strongly agree with the prospective of the unbounded powers ones words holds in bringing about change. Great leaders such as Mahatama Gandhi and Nelson Mandela didn’t get the recognition and respect due to their ideals alone , the way they put them forth using great language was the reason millions followed them in their struggles.

  7. Evandaz Camau says:

    It is true that words carry an immeasurable significance and they can break or make a person and their future. Obama is a very inspiring example of how words can change a mindset.

  8. Mike Santos says:

    Pen is mightier than the sword. No weapon is more strong, than words. Words pierce even the strongest of souls. That is why we always have to be cautious with how with use our words. I agree with you, “the power of words is always available to us and that have used the power of words to impact and improve the human condition and they knew that meaningful and lasting change would not come over night” — however, we cannot also turn a blind eye that the exact opposite of this has been rampant as well.

  9. Kuttan says:

    The power of words is terrific ,it is through this power world leaders and celebrated writers have changed the world.we should exercise this power whenever it is possible .in order to make this possible we should have sufficient knowledge of vocabulary ,words grammar etc social interaction is very important for this

  10. Shayan Raj says:

    They say ‘ a word of mouth goes a long way’. This is so much true in this case. The power of word is never to be underestimated.

  11. Tom Esthber says:

    I think people take for granted or don’t realize how much words can affect others. Words do have a lot of power if you know how to use them.

  12. Richard Fahrenheit says:

    Words have great impact. They can make or break our society, the world we live in.

  13. Scott Summers says:

    That is why there is a saying that there are only two things that we cannot Take back Time and the words we utter. Words may hurt worse or heal depending on how one uses it.

  14. Enyi says:

    This is a thought-provoking piece and it really made a good read.I enjoyed reading this and I know the words of the mouth are powerful and we must speak up and speak out to impact the world.Silence is a cancer it kills faster than we think.

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