The most powerful drug
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ― Rudyard Kipling
I don’t remember when I first realized that not everyone was as fascinated by words as I am, but it’s something that I still don’t fully understand. I have always been so drawn to words; their meaning, their rhythms and sounds, the infinite variety of ways they can be combined, sometimes with astounding power.
Stories enchant and instruct me; poems speed past logic and go directly to my heart; essays and quotes stir me and set me pondering; even the lyrics of songs reach me as deeply as the music, often more so.
During the years Matt was in school, the special education laws were more often disregarded than they were obeyed in practice (though not on paper). My life was pervasively affected by the continual need for active advocacy to ensure that he received an appropriate education, and sadly, negotiations in the endless meetings with school officials, some of whom never worked directly with our son, often became strained and even adversarial. Though I have never been a litigious person, I was forced to learn more than I ever wanted to know about formal actions such as due process hearings and the filing of compliance complaints.
Acting as an individual against firmly entrenched bureaucratic power can be a very intimidating thing. In continual meetings facing 6-10 people (sometimes even more) I often felt disregarded at best, and threatened at worst. With my anxieties kicked into overdrive for weeks at a time, I found great solace and strength in the words of authors, advocates, musicians and poets. I surrounded myself, literally and figuratively, with the power of their words.
If you are reading this blog, chances are that you also appreciate words as a means of growth, change, and connection. What are some of your favorite quotes, sayings, scripture verses or song lyrics? Have you ever faced a time when you relied on the words of others to give you the strength to keep going?