The Power of Language
If I say that I am currently employed with a major petroleum distribution center, you may think that I am a highly qualified person making limitless amounts of money. However, I am using the power of language to merely say that I work at a gas station making minimum wage. Great historical figures throughout history have used the power of language, the ability to use words to their advantage, to inspire people to unite under one common cause and to change the world.
Some of the most influential writers are those who appear in Language Awareness. Helen Keller was unable to hear and unable to see but came through her inabilities and inspired others to succeed. Malcolm X inspired African Americans throughout the US to see past their situation and rise above their diversities. Lastly, there is David Raymond, a dyslexic child who nonetheless became an affluent writer. Language has the power to change a single person, to the whole world.
Writing, what does it take? The ability to put sounds together, to make words, and to complete thoughts. It almost seems unfeasible to me that some one who cannot hear or cannot see would be able to write. For example, Helen Keller did not know the sound sounds that words made until one special lady gave her the power of language. That person, Annie Sullivan, showed her the power of language goes beyond words but also into actions. Sullivan was able to teach Keller how to write without sound, but by feeling and touching. One morning Sullivan came to Helen and gave her, her favorite doll to play with. As she was playing with it her teacher spelled “doll” in her hand. Helen was intrigued by these hand movements and then started to repeat them. By doing this she learned her first word. She became such an inspiration to so many people because she had such an impossible handicap to overcome. Many people with disabilities still look up to her because she used language to tell her story. She has changed millions of lives because of her power of language.
Malcolm X had the authority over the power of language. He writes, “Many who hear me today somewhere in person, or those who read something I said, will think I went to school far beyond the eighth grade.” The reason that Malcolm X was capable to get so many believers to follow his convictions was because he knew how to command rhetoric. The impressions people got from him were due entirely to his studies of the dictionary while he was in prison. As he wrote his first letters to the Mayor of Boston, to the Governor of Massachusetts, and to Harry S. Truman, he realized that he could not get his thoughts onto his letters. He didn’t have the vocabulary he needed to write the letter appropriately. He saw that the best thing he could do was to get a hold of a dictionary, to study and learn a wider range of vocabulary. He began by copying a single page, which eventually led to a replica of the complete dictionary. He now had a vocabulary that permitted him to get his entire thoughts onto his letters. Without his recognition of the power that language has on people, he might have never had the influence that he did. His words inspired people to become educated, to make something of themselves despite their circumstances.
Circumstances beyond our control are those with which we are born. Dyslexia is one of those circumstances. It is a disorder that involves difficulties in learning to read or to interpret words. It often presents itself in younger children by switching easily confused letters such as b and d. Someone who has dyslexia has a horrendous time in school because they can’t learn to read. Students who have the disorder often feel dumb or inferior. It makes the education process extremely difficult. One such student who conquered his problems was David Raymond. He was born with his disorder but did not come to know of it until he was in school. He was able to use the power of language in a way to help other students conquer their problem and feel normal with the rest of their class mates. Language helps people in so many different ways and forms.
Language can make a person look very successful, or it can make them look uneducated and unsuccessful. It has the power to change the world in a single speech. Great historical people have used it to gain them great influence over the world population. Language has empowered every great leader of our world’s history.