Are words mightier?
“Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword” Edward Bulwer-Lytton
How I wish that were true. Not many writers use a pen these days or are familiar with a sword. Unless of course, you are a writer of murders, war, and fantasy.
I don’t often know what I will write about when I first sit down. I’m supposed to reflect my writing style and subjects. That is not always easy to do when world events are happening. Humour and the feel-good factor seem almost trivial when important things are happening out there.
Though it is often through humour that we can face such horrendous things head-on. It allows a distance from what is happening somehow. People need a break from the bleak winter and conditions and look for some familiarity and comfort to see them through. It can lessen the fear of an impossible situation. It can give relief from dark thoughts and deeds. It can challenge our thinking and ridicule the ridiculous decision that people can make.
Poetry plays the same role. Words especially when written as poems can have a profound effect on how we view things. Having that freedom to express yourself and how you see the world is an important part of being human. It can change minds and battle discrimination, it can put a different point of view forward that isn’t always possible in the heat of a debate.
As a writer, I am free to write what I want and say what I feel. I am lucky to live in a country that allows me the freedom to do that. I have no worries about someone coming to my door during the night because of something I have written. I don’t need to measure what I say in case it puts my loved ones in danger. I am in a privileged position.
It shouldn’t be like that. Writers should have that freedom regardless of where they live. They should be able to tackle government thinking by satire and humour, allowed to create poetry that makes people take note and consider their actions.
Without writers and other creatives who is there that will tackle these issues? Who will question these decisions, who will stand up for the people in this way?
There are so many artists under lock and key the world over for simply telling the truth. Who knows how many more will disappear over the next few weeks as a country fights for its freedom and sovereign rights. How many brave writers and creatives will suffer for their work or find it corrupted beyond recognition to be used by the state in its propaganda.
This is not a blog so much about writing but rather the reason why we need creatives free to express themselves especially when other freedoms are being taken away.
The world weeps as words never mind how strongly stated are ignored and trampled on. Instead, we heard twisted promises and nonsense bravado. It has been like a badly written play that all could see what the inevitable outcome would be.
We know what the next few months will bring. It has happened before so many times. We know that words can have a profound effect but in the end, it is money that talks. Money that holds the key and turns the power.
It is not that words don’t work it is that some people do not want to hear them. I wish all creatives out their luck, safety, health, and the freedom to be able to write and create without fear of reprisals.