Honestly, I never used to be a fan of writing. It was a weak skill set of mine, and no matter how much I tried, I could never get my words to flow off the tongue like a soothing flurry of hot summer wind. The combination of being unable to craft beautifully descriptive sentences and growing up in a family where writing skills were not prized led me to never make an effort to practice the art of authorship. Luckily though, throughout the summer, I was forced to step up to writing, in which I was about as unsuccessful as a table lamp. The result? Probably not mind blowing linguistic artistry, but rather a much deeper understanding of the power of words.

In my department at Sanctuary, I’ve watched my team string together words in order to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in support for our cause. Through the Moxie program, I’ve read novels – just collections of words – that rallied the nation behind movements, such as the cry for reproductive justice. I’ve watched Sanctuary lawyers fight for the freedom of bound women using just words. Words are powerful, and if we learn to harness them just right, we can make positive change.

But who decides what is positive change?

The problem with governance and deciding between right and wrong is that the choice isn’t very black and white. Morality can generally be held as a set standard. Certain things are good, some are bad, and these delineations are widely accepted. Killing is bad, and helping your neighbor is good. However, issues in agreement come in when we start to look into how to achieve the outcomes. It is impossible to definitively say that one policy option is better than another. Even if we look into statistical analyses and try to scientifically select the best policies based on proven success, how do we define the standards for success? The subjectivity of governance makes it very difficult to create legislation that could keep an entire population happy. Throughout the summer, I, myself, pendulumed between phases of loving anarchism and then believing the government’s ability to achieve justice, as is clear in my blogs.

This is where words come in. The perfect leader would campaign, advertise, speak, and write in such a way that she would create an inner motivation for every single citizen to believe in her policies. A unanimous passion and drive to achieve the vision of the governing group or individual would lead to a greater success rate of policies. This is true even in a smaller, corporate setting. Overarching inner passion driven by powerful words can lead to larger impacts.

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