I was walking along the path by the river, heading out of Richmond towards the Lock and Weir, and I passed under Twickenham Bridge. As I did so I could hear how the sound of my footsteps were being reflected back to me, echoed by the shape of the arch. I am always tempted to shout something so that I can hear it come back to me (something I’ve always enjoyed). So I did. It was only ‘Hello’ and I enjoyed that brief moment of satisfaction as something approximating what I said came back to me. It was distorted and it wasn’t as clear, but I had created it. It was my word, my voice. I continued to walk along the river, slightly happier for having given in to my impulse.
As I continued my walk I became curious about what I had experienced. I started thinking about what would have made a difference to the response I got back. I know that the more energy I put into my words the stronger it would be, and the greater the clarity then the clearer the echo. There will be change and distortion because it relies on things external to me to provide the ability to hear them again. These are out of my control.
All I can control is what I say and how I say it.
So my words have power, and not just in this context. In every context. In what I say to myself and what I say to other people.
I started to think about what I say to myself and the power of those words. And what it is that I share with the world, in my personal and professional life. I know already how powerful words are as they are the world in which I work. I also have a deep love for words, in so many forms. So many of us are moved by words, both positively and negatively.
It has really started to make me consider even more strongly what it is I say and how I say it. And why I’m saying it. This is not about wanting to hear something specific back – I’m not looking for external validation – it’s about finding the right words and saying them clearly and with energy knowing that they are literally going to resonate with the world around me. I’m influencing it as much as it influences me. And that’s powerful. I’m going to use that power more helpfully for myself and for others.