The Power of Words

As children, we are taught a common response to hurtful words: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” As we grow towards adulthood, we learn that “Actions speak louder than words.” While both pieces of wisdom contain an element of truth, we all understand that language has power. One need not look beyond headlines and soundbites to find language that divides, promotes harmful ideologies, and even dehumanizes others. Language has power, especially in an age of rapid and viral dissemination through social media.

Amidst the words that cause pain, however, there are many more that endure, unite, create understanding, build hope, and raise up others. These are words with the potential to inspire, impacting the world for the better by spurring others to action. Dr. King’s legacy includes myriad examples of such words. Today, we celebrate his words, his actions, and leadership, and we honor his life. Members of the Hackley community stand firm in our community’s resolve to use our words - backed by our actions - to make the world more just and inclusive. Driven by Hackley’s mission, we strive to learn from different perspectives, and to do so in ways that create understanding and strengthen our local and global communities.

Together, our words create a chorus that goes forth, spreading beauty and light, and bringing words of friendship, hope, and possibility beyond the Hilltop.