“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” – Genesis 1:3
Words are powerful. According to the Christian tradition, God spoke the world into existence.
Talk about power.
Regardless your religious inclinations – or lack thereof – words are powerful. 20th century Gestalt Psychologist Wolfgang Kohler suggested that words convey and create ideas beyond their meaning. He would prove his point with this example:
Which image is a takete, and which one is a maluma?
If you’re like most people, you associated the image on the left with a maluma, and the one on the right with a takete. Why? Because maluma is smooth and soft whereas takete is hard and harsh. One is malleable, the other abrupt – and the images are instantly associated with the sounds.
But beyond inserting imagery into our brains, words can conjure up creativity and demand action. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, for instance, forever changed American history, culture, and values.
Words are more than just sporadic letters, syllables, and noises. They are linguistic utterances that have the power to create cultures, shape societies, and birth beauty.
So if you want to create something…
Just say the word.