“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Man, nursery rhymes are messed up.
Words can hurt, but they can also make us incredibly happy…euphoric in fact, when chosen wisely, used correctly and placed strategically.
But what if we only had a thousand? A thousand words to get to our point, a thousand words to evoke and enthrall, a thousand words to sell our very being, or a thousand words to make them believe?
We’d choose wisely, that’s what.
Write, write, write. The more letters littering the page the better is what a lot of us start out thinking and sometimes, it feels good to watch that word count rising. We feel like we’re getting somewhere, hitting a target…reaching a goal. But sometimes, we lose sight of what our goal was in the first place, or rather what it should have been. Was it to hit two hundred thousand words or to write with a flow and fervor of unquestionable quality?
One is not the same as the other.
I watched “A Thousand Words” a couple of weeks ago. My kids chose it and convinced me to sit and watch with them. I was cleaning up from one trip and packing for another, so I was reluctant and realizing it wasn’t the drama I wanted it to be after seeing Eddie Murphy’s face, I complained even further. (It seems I’m not a huge fan of silly when I have serious business to take care of)
But I soon quieted. It appeared Mr. Murphy was to play a literary agent and that’s all it took to draw me in. For me, the movie could’ve been about nothing else and I may have even secretly wished it were. As it turned out, there was a moral to the story.
He portrayed a fast and fancy agent that didn’t read. He was able of course, but simply chose not to. He went after big clients with the “it” factor; clients that would bring in mega money using a whole bunch of words saying a whole bunch of nothing. You know…the Hiltons and Kardashians of the world. (You can throw stones now)
Eddie’s career is put on hold when he is given a symbolic hourglass of time left on earth. How fast the sand falls is up to him; each word a grain and there are only, you guessed it, a thousand of them.
It takes him a while, but in the end, he learns to think before speaking, pick wisely…choose meaning.
It made me think of times when all I wanted to do was fill an entire notebook with scrawl; the more the merrier. Heck, I probably even dreamed of filling two notebooks. That was my goal – quality far from the forefront of my thoughts.
So, whether it takes a fast-draining hourglass, a leaf-losing tree or a badly reviewed movie starring Eddie Murphy, I’m grateful I have persuasive kids to make me to sit down and learn that sometimes silly can be real serious.