Insight News

Feb 08th

The pen is mightier than the sword

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My daughter recently had an on-going issue with a local government agency. Despite her repeated phone calls and several in-person visits (including one with the director), she did not receive any attempts to resolve the issue. She then decided to put pen to paper and write a letter to the director and copy key local government representatives. The very next day she received a call from the director acknowledging receipt of the letter and asking her to come in to meet. The director indicated that she was now taking personal responsibility for her case, and once the issue was resolved, she would follow up in writing to her as well as the state reps that she copied. My daughter's case is one of many that indicate that the pen is still mightier than the sword.

Putting pen to paper is powerful. There are very few things more influential than a well written letter. When used correctly, the written word can transform the situation for the better. The letter often serves as a living testament of the intent of the writer and is an uninterrupted expression of the writer's will and desire. With that in mind, care and caution should be used when putting pen to paper.

1. Words written supersede words spoken. Whether you are in cyber space or in your own space, you must be careful of the things you put into writing. The spoken word often disappears into thin air while the written word lives on. In contracts, the things written will override the things that were spoken so you must pay attention to the fine print. In all cases, take care when using the power of the pen because the things you write will override the things you say.

2. The things you write down will define you. The more you read the words of others, the more you get a glimpse of the thoughts and intents of their hearts. When you use social media as a negative outlet, others (employers included) take notice. Your words, small or great, typed or written, grammatically correct or incorrect, will define you. Make sure that the expression of your pen reflect the character of your heart.

3. The things you write down can be improved on. Once a thought or idea is put on paper, others can make improvements to it. Books are edited, business plans are expanded on, and letters are improved, all through the help of others.

Allowing others to use their power of the pen to improve your words is necessary for personal and professional development. If possible, never allow your draft statement to become your final statement.

4. The things written will outlive you. This is one of the greatest powers of the pen. Whether it is your book, last will and testament, personal memoir, or diary, these documents will have a life span of their own. It is the foolish to write without regard. The wise writer understands this and uses the power of the pen for good. When you put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard, do so knowing the words may outlive you.

The pen is still more powerful than the sword, and when conveying thoughts, it can be more powerful than the words spoken. My daughter used the power of her pen to change her circumstance, and you can use it to change yours. Also, be willing to allow others to make improvements to your thoughts and ideas. When writing whether casually or professionally, ensure the words written reflect the correct image of the expressions of your heart.

Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to

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