by Karl Nelson II, Intern Media
BROOKLYN, NY — “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
I can recount many times that I’ve either heard this phrase directly or in passing, and for a long time I believed it. However, I’m here today to tell you that it’s a false statement.
I know what you’re probably thinking. How can I make such a bold claim about a phrase that’s lived for so many years?
Well, for me, it’s quite simple. That phrase can’t be true because the last time I checked, words have a tremendous amount of power in nearly every aspect of life.
“Be careful what you say. You can say something hurtful in ten seconds, but ten years later, the wounds are still there.” – Joel Osteen
Here, American preacher and televangelist, Joel Osteen, speaks to just how powerful words can be, alluding to how something that’s said today could very well stick with a person years later. And if what’s said is hurtful, imagine that staying with you several years later while you’re on the cusp of achieving something you’ve worked extremely hard for. That could be mentally devastating for you.
Words can often make or break a situation. What we say out of our mouths can ultimately be the determining factor as to whether we experience positivity in our lives or allow negativity to creep in.
“If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. In our thoughts and words, we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths. Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts. We can always replace negative with positive.” – Betty Eadie
In this quote, American bestselling author, Betty Eadie, seems to hint at the fact that we sometimes take for granted the power of our words and our thoughts. In fact, Eadie says we would do a much better job of guarding our words and thoughts if we had a better understanding of their power.
Eadie also states that when it comes to our thoughts and the words we utter, it’s us that create “our own weaknesses and our own strengths.” That being said, I ask you, do you really believe in the whole “sticks and stones” concept?
To take things one step further, think about the power of music and how it has a history of being able to impact the world at large.
Think about hip-hop and how powerful it’s been in some of the most shameful times in our American history. If it weren’t for hip-hop, a lot of communities wouldn’t have had an outlet to express themselves or mentally escape from adverse periods in their lives.
Well, where did hip-hop originate from?
Hip-hop derived from spoken word (poetry). That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone considering the poetic tone we hear in hip-hop music.
“I hope readers take away from this book that rap is poetry. It’s thought-provoking; there’s thought behind it,” Rapper Jay-Z said. “There’s great writing in rap as well.
Well, I think it’s safe to say that New York-based Spoken Word artist, Aisha Reid, understands the power of words as she’s now spent over a year stepping onto many stages performing poetic monologues that depict her emotions, her life and the many visions she possess as an artist.
Several months ago, I watched Aisha walk out on that stage full of confidence and not just recite her applauded poem, “King,” but also perform it. The way she engaged the crowd with her delivery and appeal really moved me. So much so that I had no choice but to approach her for an interview immediately following her performance.
The way she aggressively, emotionally and colorfully gave her description of what she views as a true “king” in today’s man, it really had the undivided attention of those in the audience.
As a journalist who’s constantly inspired by the ambitious work of others, I instantly wanted to know more about Aisha’s story as a poet and as a woman who is obviously empowered.
In our interview, we covered a lot of topics, including the filming of “King” and how she’s been inspired to write a complimentary piece to that poem, what she loves about motherhood, and how she would like people to react to her live poetry.
I just want you to know that your words are extremely powerful and the way you described today’s men as “kings” during your performance in Queens, NY was very intriguing and appreciated. I love the fact that you’re balancing motherhood and career. The world needs more moms like you and our generation can truly benefit from your strong voice. Many people might tell you that poetry is not a career path that you’ll be able to live comfortably from, but as my mother always tells me, “God doesn’t give us gifts or passions by accident.” That being said, continue to make it happen and make your audience see poetry in a way they’ve never seen it before. I know that’s how I felt when you graced the stage several months ago. Welcome to the Intern Media family!
Karl Nelson II, Founder of Intern Media