Words still wield a lot of power

The power of a single word is immense

Just one word can cause pain, sorrow, grief, joy, anger, relief and appreciation among so many other emotions.

In my short stint at the editor’s desk I’ve seen enough words already to stir up all those emotions and then some.

There have been words from readers that have caused hurt, sadness and grief. And more words that brought smiles, relief and optimism.

Such is the life of a wordsmith I guess.

It’s refreshing to know that 90 per cent of the people who have voiced their concerns in writing or over the phone are also the same ones who have offered compliments and support as we accept the criticisms and comments.

And yes, that has included readers from Rossland.

There’s no denying that a hot potato issue has been bouncing around the Trail Times office since we ran a column taking direct aim at some of our fellow citizens and friends in Rossland.

Those words hurt many people and brought a torrent of similar words back to our office.

But just as words can sting they can also soothe.

Every letter to the editor has received a personal reply. Angry callers have had their say.

Sometimes that’s all we need is a chance to vent and express our feelings.

And our role as the voice of record in the region is to listen to the readers’ words, give them their say and move on in a positive fashion.

People don’t forgive or forget that quickly but having someone acknowledge their concerns is the first step.

We can’t say “sorry,” to every comment or apologize to everyone who is offended by a photo, a column or a story.

What we can do is listen, absorb the comments, offer explanations or accept the blame. And above all else try and do better.

In a world where messages are Twittered in 120 characters or words are replaced by single letters or smiley faces to abbreviate the message, there is still something to be said about the power of an entire word.

We teach our children and try to lead by example in using words appropriately and in a positive manner.

“Thanks,” “sorry,” “please,” and “welcome,” are all just as valuable and important today as they were before computers changed our daily vocabulary and communication style a couple of decades ago.

I’ve only been sitting here for over a month so I know I have a long way to go. But I believe we can overcome the debris left from the latest issue.

If you need one other example, all I have to say lately in this province is “Canucks,” and it brings a huge smile to most people’s faces.

Amazing what one word can do.