celebrating the collective through One Little Word
I know the power of words. They have been my lifeblood for as long as I can remember, enveloping me with comfort and joy and inspiration and, yes, empowerment. They have hurt me more times than I’d like to remember, but they have also healed me far more times than that. Words keep me awake at night and then they strengthen me for the new day. The most supreme Word carries me through each and every moment of my life. Believe me when I tell you… I know the power of words. And yet…
I haven’t always embraced the power of my own chosen words. I’ve set out this year to break that habit, but now I realize that I cannot do that alone. And that’s just the way God works, isn’t it? He reminds us that we were created for community and we are all a part of the same “collective,” if you will. We empower one another, even as we draw strength from the Source of Life. And so today I embrace community.
Ali Edwards has posted the complete list of Words for 2011 as they were added to her site over the past week, and as I read through the list I was touched and found joy in several of them. I love the words of strength like Revolution, Cliffjumper, Moxie, and (perhaps my favorite) Badassery. I love the words of joy like Groovy and Merry. I love the words of creation like Incarnational and Revivify, and I love the words of community like Tribe and Conviver, which was identified as Portugese for “live together.” In fact, I adore the idea of seeking words outside the English language and wonder why it never occurred to me before! The word Drishti, Sanskrit for “vision, focus, point of view,” and Eucharisteo, a Greek word encompassing “grace, thanksgiving, joy,” are particularly inspiring because I would have to maintain a deeper study of the words themselves in order to fully grasp their meanings. (You should definitely take a moment to read about eucharisteo at Ordinarily Extraordinary.) All of these words and more inspire purpose and create vision that we surely can all use in our lives, and reading through the list is a delightful experience. But just reading them wasn’t quite enough.
Artist Liz Lamoreux actually recorded a spoken version of the word list and described it as “a poem of possibility.” And until you hear the complete list aloud you truly cannot grasp the power of that statement. Until I heard the list aloud I did not grasp their collective power. It’s more than poetry. It’s more than a song. It is a prayer. A prayer that unifies us all with inspiration, with hope and promise, with the potential for greatness in 2011. I am inspired for myself, but I am also inspired for everyone else who is choosing to narrow their focus this year and concentrate on one very specific goal. I pray that we all find people who will encourage us and who will walk with us in our individual journeys. I’m grateful to have a friend who does just that, and I look forward to all the stories that will be shared between us. I look forward to following the stories of so many who joined Ali’s challenge! I believe in the power of those words, and I am so thankful for the ways God chooses to remind us of His presence.
Listen to the complete list of words. And please take a moment to leave a comment here. I’d love to follow your own story this year!
One Little Word is a yearly project by Ali Edwards. Visit her blog to participate with us. Wordle graphic via Ali Edwards, linked to source.