"No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
And so begins one of Robin William's most iconic speeches from 1989's "Dead Poets Society."
If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I am a huge lover of words. Always have been and always will be.
For as long as I remember, words have played an important role in my life as a way to express myself, whether it be through reading, writing, or public speaking. Unfortunately, more so than not, people can be careless and neglectful with their words, and this is something that needs to change.
No force in the world could be stronger than the power of words for they have the unique ability to invoke either the best or worst feelings known to mankind. With a few short phrases, you have the ability tear a person's heart to pieces or make them the happiest person alive. Of all the weapons in the world, I truly believe that the pen is mightier than the sword.
One of the greatest creations from words is poetry. Poetry in itself is an art that, quite honestly, our society pushes aside and takes for granted. The world can be too harsh and destructive to focus on something as "soft" and "gentle" as poetry.
Explain to me...what's so wrong with being soft and gentle? Poetry is stereotyped as feminine and weak. But let me tell you that there is nothing weak about wearing your heart out on your sleeve.
And I would argue that not all poetry is soft and gentle. Or even "cute" as some would call it. Poems are a way to release one's inner (sometimes dark and tormented) feelings, a way to release and articulate emotions that normal phrases merely cannot. It's not always lovey and romantic as Shakespeare's sonnets may suggest.
Poetry is a necessity that nourishes and soothes the human soul. Yes, I would agree that business, engineering, law, medicine, and so on are important professions for human survival. But, Robin William perfects it when he said, "...Poetry, beauty, romance, love-- these are what we stay alive for."
There is so much beauty in the universe and if you spend the rest of your life in a monotonous routine, you'll be missing out on what really matters.
So be poetic.
Now I don't mean that you have to go out and write poems to find life's meaning. All you have to do is notice all the wonderful little things that life that has to offer and create metaphors from them that you'll keep and treasure. Notice the smell of nature after it just rained. Notice the way the sunlight peeks through your lover's hair. Notice how flowers gently dance when a gust of wind hits. Who cares if it's completely cliché? If it makes you happy to be alive, then don't be ashamed. Be proud. Make this world your own.
As tough as society tells you that you have to be, at least allow your heart to be vulnerable and affected every now and then. Whether it be because of nature, a song, a book, a film, or a photograph. Emotions make us human. Without them, we would all simply be bodies of flesh surviving, not living.
I can promise you one thing: poetry will bring out the best in you. Believe it or not, it will inspire and influence you for the better. I know from personal experience.
A spark will ignite and burst within your soul. Suddenly, you're passionate and fired up and ready to change the world. You have more purpose, more reason.
If every single person had this mentality, humanity would be so much more at peace.
I want to conclude with one more life lesson from "Dead Poets Society."
"Seize the day...make your lives extraordinary."