As a unit of measure, words can often be considered the smallest units of reason. Sure, in the hands of a master orator, a good speech, or a brilliant bit of prose or a poem can change the course of history. A well-crafted song at a critical juncture can mean victory in battle, or start a movement of people that changes everything.
But then, they’re just words … right?
Well, in a 2002 speech by Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Bidden Jr., I was reminded that our founding fathers knew how words could reshape history. Thomas Payne wrote “The Crisis”, a series of pamphlets that supported the Revolutionary War, and legitimized the founding of this nation. And when they wrote the Declaration of Independence … well, I probably don’t have to go into how important that was, seeing as how none of you in America are the future subjects of King Charles, nor pay your taxes to Elizabeth II … at up to 80% of your income, I might add….
This was done with words. Oh, sure, those words were backed up by muskets and cannon, but without the words, who would have raised a pistol or an arrow? And who … without the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. … would have stood up to the national guard in Alabama? Who would have fought for – and changed – the laws that held one segment of our society hostage to the will of another?
Yes, this is the power of words: words make people think. When they think, they change their minds … they take action, and they start talking, and the words change other peoples’ minds. More people acting, and talking, and thinking means the words spread and grow. Soon the words of one or a few people become the ideals of thousands, then tens of thousands, then countless masses. And when the words spread so far that they become the common thought of the people, then, for better, or for worse, history IS changed. When Adolph Hitler said, “It is not truth that matters, but victory,” a nation followed him and led the world into Hell. When John F. Kennedy challenged us “Before this decade is out to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth” we followed him into the modern world.
Indeed, we measure our success by the power – and longevity of our words. How powerful, then, are the works of William Shakesphere? The Gettysburg Address? The Constitution? What is the power of the common Blog? Will it not be a Blog that sparks the next Cultural Revolution, or Civil War, or Human Rights Movement? Is it not the Blogs which have propelled Environmental Awareness into the mainstream? Who among you is the next Martin Luther, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, or Thomas Payne?
What is the Measure of The Common Blog?
I tell you, it is immeasurable.
SASS has Spoken.